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Coup attempt in Sao Tome and Principe failed, PM said | official news

PM Trovoda said at least six people, including the former speaker of the National Assembly, were detained after the overnight attack.

An attempted coup in Sao Tome and Principe has been thwarted, according to the prime minister of the African island nation generally praised for its stability.

The military barracks were attacked early Friday, Prime Minister Patrice Trovoda said in a news briefing broadcast on private broadcaster Radio Somos Todos Primos.

“We were the target of an attempted coup, which started at about 00:40 [00:40 GMT] And it’s done … shortly after 06:00 [06:00 GMT],” They said.

At least six people have reportedly been detained.

The head of the Economic Community of West African States condemned the attempted coup in the Gulf of Guinea nation.

Guinea-Bissau’s President Umaro Sissoko Embalo said on Twitter, “Sao Tome and Principe is considered a model of parliamentary democracy in Africa.”

Trovoda said that after the attempted coup the four attackers were “neutralised” and taken into custody. The prime minister said that a former speaker of the National Assembly, Delfim Neves, had been arrested on Friday morning, and that Arlesio Costa, a former soldier, had also been detained in connection with the coup.

Neves lost his position on 11 November when a new chamber was installed following elections in September, in which Trovoda’s centre-right Independent Democratic Action (ADI) party won an absolute majority.

ADI is one of the two major parties that have struggled to run the country since independence in 1975. The second is the Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe-Social Democratic Party (MLSTP-PSD). ADI’s electoral victory saw the return of Trovoda to the post of Prime Minister for the third time.

One resident, speaking anonymously to the AFP news agency by phone, said he had heard “automatic and heavy weapons fire as well as explosions” inside the army headquarters for two hours in the country’s capital Sao Tome.

She said the city is now calmer: “People are going about their normal business, but schools have asked parents not to send their children.”

São Tomé and Príncipe is a former Portuguese colony, located on the west equatorial coast of Africa. It has been relatively stable since the 2003 military coup attempt against the government of President Frederic de Menezes. The coup leaders said at the time that they sought to topple the government because of widespread poverty.

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