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Failed coup in Sao Tome and Principe
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Failed coup in Sao Tome and Principe

A coup attempt failed on the night of Thursday to Friday, November 25, in Sao Tome and Principe, a small archipelago in the Gulf of Guinea considered a regional model of parliamentary democracy, announced the Prime Minister, Patrice Trovoada .

Four men, including the president of the outgoing National Assembly, Delfim Neves, and Arlecio Costa, a former mercenary already involved in a coup attempt in 2009, were arrested after attacking the headquarters of the army, specifies Mr. Trovoada in a video authenticated and sent to Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Libreville by the Minister of Justice, Ilsa Maria dos Santos Amado Vaz.

“I want to reassure everyone, the armed forces have the situation under control”declares the head of government, who appears seated at a desk, his features drawn, in a white T-shirt under a blue raincoat. “There was a coup attempt that started around 12:40 a.m. and (…) ended shortly after 6am”he continues, adding that the armed forces have “suffered an attack in a barracks”. Military ” taken hostage “ was, according to him, injured, “but he will be able to resume his activities in a few days”.

A resident contacted by AFP said she heard “shots from automatic weapons and heavier weapons, as well as detonations, for two hours, inside the army headquarters” in Sao Tome, the capital.

Delfim Neves, president of the outgoing Assembly, gave up his post on November 11, at the start of the new legislature resulting from the legislative elections of September 25, won by the center-right party of Mr. Trovoada, the Independent Democratic Action (ADI ), which obtained an absolute majority. Mr. Neves was also eliminated in the first round of the July 18, 2021 presidential election won by Carlos Vila Nova (ADI). Arlecio Costa belonged to the South African group Buffalo battalion, dismantled in 1993 by Pretoria. In February 2009, while leader of an opposition party, he had already been arrested and accused of being the leader of an attempted coup.