Army troops shot dead the president of the tiny west African country of Guinea-Bissau early Monday, following a bomb attack that killed the army chief of staff, according to diplomats in the region.
News reports said army troops blamed the president, João Bernardo Vieira, for the death of the army chief, Gen. Batista Tagme Na Wai, who died in an explosion on Sunday night. Diplomats, who spoke in return for anonymity under customary rules, said the president was killed at around 5 a.m. in an attack outside his house and the country’s borders had been closed. “Nobody knows who is in charge,” one diplomat said. “Nobody knows what the army will do.”
The reason the country is so tiny is that there was an itty-bitty Portugese colony here squeezed between the French colonies of Senegal and Guinea. My sense is that though having been colonized has done little good for anyone, my sense is that the post-colonial experience of Portugal’s former colonies in Africa has been worse than that of the French or British colonies.