President Umaro Sissoco Embalo of Guinea-Bissau has designated two personnels to safeguard his personal security.
These newly chosen officers assumed their responsibilities on Monday, while the head of state made implicit references to instances of coups d’état occurring in other African nations.
The security postings were made immediately after coups in Niger and Gabon, both of which were carried out by government security officials.
On Friday, General Tomas Djassi was chosen head of presidential security, and General Horta Inta was made chief of staff to the president.
These two jobs have long existed in the government’s organisational structure, but have remained vacant for decades.
According to an AFP journalist, Djassi and Inta were sworn in Monday during a ceremony at the presidential palace.
Since its independence in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has had four military coups, the most recent in 2012.
In February 2022, an attempt was made to depose Embalo.
“It’s true that coups d’état carried out by presidential security officers have become fashionable,” the president told reporters on Monday, while assuring that “any suspicious movement will be met with an appropriate response”.
Djassi was previously the commander of the national guard, an elite army force whose participation helped thwart the 2022 coup attempt.
Inta was the commander of Bissau’s central police station.
Embalo warned last month that Niger’s coup constituted an existential threat to the Economic Community of West African States, claiming that the country’s deposed president, Mohamed Bazoum, was the only legal leader.