Guinea-Bissau Lawyers Call for Investigation of Clash

(Corrects title of UN official in third paragraph.)

Guinea-Bissau’s general prosecutor, Edmundo Mendes, ordered an investigation into military clashes in the West African nation on Dec. 26 amid conflicting reports about a possible coup attempt.

The country’s lawyers’ union backed the call for an inquiry, according to Domingos Quade, president of the group. Both Mendes and Quade commented in e-mailed statements.

An army headquarters was attacked this week in an attempt to seize weapons, according to the United Nations News Centre, which cited Vladimir Monteiro, a spokesman for the UN’s peacebuilding mission in Guinea-Bissau. Army Chief Antonio Injai told reporters at a press conference that the fighting was an attempted coup.

The fighting was condemned by the Economic Community of West African States yesterday. The clashes “are not unconnected with agitation for pay rises and rivalry within the military hierarchy,” said Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who is also chairman of the regional body.

The attacks took place while President Malam Bacai Sanha was in Paris receiving medical treatment, according to Ecowas.

To contact the reporter on this story: Armando Lona in Bissau at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emily Bowers at

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