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.
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Putin critic may have been murdered by Islamic extremists, says president-led committee
Stephen Hawking's wife Jane Wilde on their marriage breakdown: 'The family were left behind'
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...