Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Death of an African President

 I received the following message in my email this morning.
Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens
January 9, 2012
Possible Unrest in Guinea- Bissau Following Death of President Sanha

This message is to inform U.S. citizens in Guinea-Bissau that media sources have reported that the Head of State of Guinea-Bissau, President Malam Bacai Sanha, has died.  President Sanha has been in France for medical treatment since November.  Following his death, there is an increased potential for political instability and civil or military unrest in Guinea-Bissau. U.S. citizens are urged to use caution in the coming days should unrest ensue and to avoid demonstrations should they come upon them.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to stay informed and to practice good situational awareness when they are moving about in Guinea-Bissau. Travel plans should be amended to account for the possibility of  civil or military unrest and/or disturbances. We remind U.S. citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can quickly and without much advance warning turn confrontational and escalate into violence. The U.S. Embassy, therefore, urges U.S. citizens to avoid crowds, political gatherings, and street demonstrations, even if they appear to be peaceful, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times.
So at this point we are still going. We'll keep a close watch on events. In the meantime below is the news as reported by CNN

Photo Source; Allwestafric.com

Paris (CNN) -- President Malam Bacai Sanha of Guinea-Bissau died early Monday, according to an official at the West African nation's embassy in Paris. He was 64. The official said Sanha was in Paris for treatment, and died at Val-de-Grace Hospital.

Sanha became president in September 2009, months after the assassination of President Joao Bernardo Vieira. Sanha had served as interim president and defeated another former president, Kumba Yala, in a runoff election.

Guinea-Bissau's history has been marked by military coups and attempted coups since the nation of 1.5 million gained independence from Portugal in 1974. Those conflicts ravaged the nation's infrastructure and economy and left it among the poorest in the world.

Despite Sanha's coming to power in what international observers deemed a fair and peaceful election, his tenure was marked by turmoil among the country's military and political leadership.

Read the story

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