Bissau hit by rebel attack
Thursday 04 February 1999
The interim Prime Minister, Francisco Fadul, said yesterday that fighting had increased overnight between Senegalese troops supporting President Joao Bernardo Vieira and the army, which opposes his rule.
"There is a lot of automatic weapon fire and a lot of heavy shelling," Mr Fadul said. Headded that the foreign and defence ministers of Togo were expected in Bissau yesterday to broker talks. The ambassadors of Portugal, France and Sweden are also involved in the diplomatic efforts, he said.
A French Navy ship, Siroco, is off the coast of Bissau, where it is attempting to land 300 West African peace-keeping reinforcements from Benin and Niger.
On Tuesday it was reported to have shelled rebel positions but the French ambassador to Bissau, Francois Chapellet, denied the claim. Earlier this week there were reports that at least 30 people had died in Bissau over the weekend, with more than 200 casualties admitted to hospital. Many people have reportedly sought shelter in foreign embassies.
The peacekeepers are due to be deployed as part of a plan brokered by the 16-nation Economic Community of West African States and the former colonial power, Portugal.
The policy, agreed last November, envisaged presidential elections next month but did not include plans for disarming the rebel army.
The rebellion, which began last June and is supported by guerrillas from neighbouring Senegal, has displaced half the country's one million people.
The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
4Chan naked photos leak: Celebrity Twitter reactions to the mass breach of privacy
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teaching Assistant required in ...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: North Manchester Teaching Assistant...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Nursery Nurses needed in Manchester...