In response to recent coup d’état incidents in neighboring African nations, President Umaro Sissoco Embalo has taken proactive steps to enhance his own security apparatus. On Monday, two key security appointments were officially introduced, marking a significant shift in Guinea-Bissau’s security strategy.
General Tomas Djassi has been designated as the new head of presidential security, while General Horta Inta assumes the crucial role of chief of staff for the president. These positions, though long-standing in the government’s structure, have remained vacant for several decades. The inauguration ceremony for Djassi and Inta was held on Monday at the presidential palace, as reported by an AFP journalist.
Guinea-Bissau, a nation that has experienced four military coups since gaining independence in 1974, has remained on high alert regarding the threat of political instability. Notably, an attempted coup against President Embalo occurred in February 2022.
In light of these concerns, President Embalo remarked, “It’s true that coups d’état carried out by presidential security officers have become fashionable,” while emphasizing that any suspicious activities will be met with a swift and suitable response.
Prior to his current role, General Djassi served as the head of the national guard, an elite army unit that played a pivotal role in thwarting the 2022 coup attempt. Meanwhile, General Inta previously held the position of head of the central police station in Bissau.
President Embalo has not been shy about expressing his concerns regarding regional coup attempts. Last month, he warned that Niger’s recent coup posed an existential threat to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), asserting that deposed Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum was the only legitimate leader for the country.
As Guinea-Bissau takes proactive measures to safeguard its political stability, the region remains on high alert for further developments that could impact the broader West African community.