I RIDE FOR THE BRAND - REX TILLERSON

"My word is my bond. I ride for the brand. Once I am committed, I am in it for the long haul." - Rex Tillerson, US Secretary of State on loyalty.


ICHEOKU says a personification of candor and honor. Nice.


THE RUSSIAN COLLUSION: DEALT A FATAL BLOW.


"There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is also no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election." - Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General of the United States of America.

ICHEOKU says this determination, for every intent and purpose, now lays to rest the "Collusion with the Russians" hogwash; as nobody can be guilty of an offense which requires awareness to ground when he or she is not aware of it. Collusion is a conspiracy and requires a proactive participation coupled with a guilty knowledge to bring about the purpose of the conspiracy. Therefore, when will the Special Counsel address the nation and tell Americans that there is no there, there, in the Russian Collusion investigation and save America further bleeding both in resources, time and unity. Enough of the sore loser antics of the Democratic Party which does not know how to take a loss and learn to work to fix what went wrong, instead of continuously pointing a finger at a mirage that is the Russian Collusion, in its bid to find something to blame for its ineptitude that led to the epochal loss of November 8th, 2016.

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: DEAD AT 65


ICHEOKU says Uncle Robert Mugabe finaly outlived him; admitted he put up a good fight trying to be president of Zimbabwe but to no avail. He was 65 years old and died of colon cancer. May his soul now rest. Adieu Morgan.


WINTER OLYMPICS PYEONGCHANG 2018

WINTER OLYMPICS PYEONGCHANG 2018,

ICHEOKU says South Korea is hosting the world of Winter Olympics 2018. A stellar preparation and spectacular performances so far. Congratulations to the host country and the gathered athletes who are gathered in Pyeongchang South Korea for the event.


PERCHED AND REVVING TO ITS ALEINS RENDEZVOUS.

PERCHED AND REVVING TO ITS ALIENS RENDEZVOUS.

ICHEOKU says science and technology are awesome. They make the seemingly impossible, possible. Elon Musk's personal Tesla Roadster enroute to Mars atmospheric orbit. Congratulations to Elon Musk and his SpaceX and Tesla teams.


OBAMA: WHAT DID HE KNOW.


ICHEOKU says what did former President Barack Hussein Obama know and when did he know it. America people must demand of their leaders a full disclosure and full accountability in the unfolding FBI released memo scandal. Only by getting to the bottom of the matter will American people regain their confidence in their law enforcement agencies.


FBI MEMO SCANDAL: OBAMA WAS IN THE LOOP


"POTUS WANTS TO KNOW EVERYTHING WE ARE DOING." - Lisa Page to boyfriend Peter Strzok, two FBI officials.


ICHEOKU says the POTUS then was President Barack Hussein Obama, who had previously denied and lied to the American people that he does not dabble into any FBI's investigative matter. Really?


THE MEMO: THE CRITICAL AND CRUCIAL POINTS.


Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe admitted that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISA court without the Michael Steele's dossier information. Michael Steele was engaged by Hillary Clinton's campaign and Fusion GPS to obtain dirt information on then candidate Donald John Trump which subsequently produced the infamous Steele's dossier. This is the but-for test: but for the dossier alleging collusion, there would not have been a Mueller's Russian investigation.


Michael Steele admitted to then Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr that he was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not, being president. Bruce Ohr's wife was also then employed by the same Fusion GPS which hired Michael Steele to help it with digging up dirt on Trump. But Bruce Ohr kept this critical bias information and the fact that his own wife was also employed in the illicit dirty job activities by the same Fusion GPS out of the Justice department application to the FISA court to obtain a surveillance warrant that led up to the Russian probe. The dossier was a bogus hatchet job manufactured to just smear and nail Trump.


ICHEOKU says the web of conspiracy could not be any clearer: first you have a desperate Michael Steele who is out to stop the election of Donald Trump at all cost and by all and every means necessary. Then you have interest of financial gains through employment, which probably persuaded the hiding of the vital information from the FISA court. The information could have negated the issuance of the warrant and without which the court might have otherwise declined its issuance. Yet somebody is saying what; that the Russian Investigation is not a big ruse or as the president would say a political WITCH hunt.


AMERICA IS HERE TO STAY - PDJT

AMERICA IS HERE TO STAY - PDJT

"Americans fill the world with art and music. They push the bounds of science and discovery. And they forever remind us of what we should never ever forget: The people dreamed this country. The people built this country. And it's the people who are making America great again. As long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve. As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail. Our families will thrive. Our people will prosper. And our Nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free." - President Donald John Trump.


I AM AMERICA'S CHEERLEADER IN CHIEF - PDJT

I AM AMERICA'S CHEERLEADER IN CHIEF - PDJT
"I believe in America. As President of the United States, I will always put America First. Just like the leaders of other countries should put their respective countries first. But America First does not mean America alone. So together, let us resolve to use our power, our resources, and our voices, not just for ourselves, but for our people—to lift their burdens, to raise their hopes, and to empower their dreams. To protect their families, their communities, their histories, and their futures. A nation’s greatness is more than the sum of its production – a nation’s greatness is the sum of its citizens: The values, pride, love, devotion and character of the people who call that nation home." - President Donald John Trump, Davos 2018.

POPE CONDEMNS FAKE NEWS (CNN): SEES WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP

POPE CONDEMNS CNN: AGREES WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP

ICHEOKU says President Donald John Trump, the man who saw tomorrow, has a new ally. Pope Francis has finally seen the light on what the president has been talking about for nearly two years now. The Holy See has now come to appreciate what PDJT went through in the hands of purveyors of Fake News, which unfortunately is continuing till today. The pope called them evil and compared them to the Biblical garden of Eden's serpent, which fed Eve with Fake News about what will happen if she and Adam ate of the forbidden fruit. ICHEOKU commends the pope for finally turning around the corner. Well done papa for calling out the likes of CNN and co. Bravo.

IT IS ONE YEAR TODAY, HURRAY!

IT IS ONE YEAR TODAY, HURRAY!
ICHEOKU says congratulations to President Donald John Trump for successfully steering America's ship of States for a full year. What the naysayers said will not happen is a reality which they are finding extremely difficult to live with. But their preferences notwithstanding, Make America Great Again is on course and nobody will torpedo it. Once again, congratulations to the leader of Team MAGA on the anniversary of his being sworn in as the 45th POTUS.

PRESIDENT TRUMP IN EXCELLENT HEALTH

PRESIDENT TRUMP IN EXCELLENT HEALTH.

ICHEOKU says he submitted himself to the Walter Reed National hospital for a three and half hours medical examination which included his requested, but not required, mental acuity test. The president passed excellently well and aced his IQ test 30/30. ICHEOKU says yet another nail on the coffin of the fake book Fire and Fury hatchet job which had claimed unfounded story about the president's mental health. But will the possessed far left media hordes now take their chill pill and let the president be? Your guess is as good as ICHEOKU's. ICHEOKU says congratulations President Donald John Trump for once again shaming your traducers. It is now all the way live to 2020 and a second term assured victory.


ICHEOKU'S MAN OF THE YEAR 2017: PRESIDENT DONALD JOHN TRUMP

ICHEOKU says following an examination of so many nominated individuals, we have determined that this year 2017's man of the year is President Donald John Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America. He came into office shooting on both hips and as the year draws to an end, his both guns are still firing and smoking. For standing up to the world and starring down American detractors and being the cheerleader and champion in chief of America, the leader of Team Make America Great Again has earned ICHEOKU's man of the year award 2017. Congratulations to President Donald John Trump.

JERUSALEM IS ISRAEL'S ETERNAL CAPITAL - PDJT

JERUSALEM IS ISRAEL'S ETERNAL CAPITAL - PDJT
ICHEOKU says a wisdom of Solomon come to judgment; it is about time the child is given to the rightful mother. Salute to the courage of President Donald John Trump.

PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE ARE ENGAGED: HURRAY!

ICHEOKU says they look nice together and hopefully the crazy media and their paparazzi hordes will let them be and not force them into a life of misery or accidentally run them off the cliff. Lady Di's tragic experience is still painfully fresh till this day and no one, not ICHEOKU, wants to relive or experience such awfulness again, NEVER again. May God protect and bless the duo as they take their baby steps into the journey of of so many unknown absurdities called marriage. All the best Harry and Meghan.


AMERICA STRONG!

"Together with our allies, America's warriors are prepared to defend our nation using the full range of our unmatched capabilities. No one — no dictator, no regime and no nation — should underestimate, ever, American resolve."


RUSSIAN COLLUSION: EVIDENCE FOUND!

RUSSIAN COLLUSION: EVIDENCE EMERGES!

ICHEOKU says Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton was caught pants down colluding with the Russians and she has been trying so hard to pull the wool over the eyes of American people over whodunnit. What a lying, contriving, manipulative woman who lies so easily that you wonder whether truth actually exists in her lexicon. Pitiful.

RUSSIAN DOSSIER: PAID FOR BY HILLARY CLINTON

RUSSIAN DOSSIER: PAID FOR BY CLINTON

ICHEOKU says finally the circle is about being completed and American people and the world at large will come to know who in fact did the collusion. Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Congress paid Fusion GPS to produce the fake Russian dossier which former CIA chief James Clapper said was the basis for the Trump investigation. Yet, the investigation is still ongoing, despite the now established fact that the basis of it was a manufactured phony. But hey, we shall see.


ICHEOKU says still wondering WHAT HAPPENED and the reason 33,000 emails were deleted and bleach washed? Hopefully American people will soon confirm their suspicion that those shouting themselves hoax with Russian Collusion might indeed be the ones who actually colluded with the Russians. So much for the Russian Reset button. Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton, simply too crooked.


GLAD TO BE CARRIED TO FULL TERM.

GRATEFUL TO BE CARRIED FULL TERM

ICHEOKU says another lucky one that survived the abortionist's pincers from the over 360,000 unlucky ones that get flushed out each year. May God help us all have a better resolution about unwanted pregnancies.


JUST SAY NO TO KNEELING: IT IS UN-AMERICAN.

JUST SAY NO TO KNEELING: IT IS UN-AMERICAN.
ICHEOKU says from being disrespectful to the flag to being unappreciative of the services of the military to overall being anti America; NFL players must learn to check their political activism outside the stadiums. They must not kneel on our dime. ICHEOKU supports the president 1000% on this and hereby calls on every player to respect the sensibilities of the many differently opined fans who paid to watch a game and not to be made mad by their personal political agenda.

IPOB: NOT A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION - USA


“The United States Government is strongly committed to Nigeria’s unity. Important political and economic issues affecting the Nigerian people, such as the allocation of resources, are worthwhile topics for respectful debate in a democracy. Within the context of unity, we encourage all Nigerians to support a de-escalation of tensions and peaceful resolution of grievances. The Indigenous People of Biafra is not a terrorist organization under US law.” - Russell Brooks, United States of America.

ROCKET MAN; ON A SUICIDE MISSION.



"The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary. That’s what the United Nations is all about; that’s what the United Nations is for. Let’s see how they do." - PDJT


DONATE TODAY TO HELP REBUILD LIVES!

DONATE TODAY TO HELP REBUILD LIVES!

ICHEOKU says the Red Cross does one heck of a good job going to the assistance of the needy; so in these times of great need, occasioned by so many hurricanes, flooding and earthquake, show that you really care, donate to help the victims rebuild their wrecked lives. Remember that the Almighty rewards a cheerful giver.

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER

"When you lose to somebody who has a 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself. So what did we do wrong? People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that." - Senator Charles Schumer, Senior Senator from the State of New York and Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate. ICHEOKU says the statement spoke volume and it spoke for itself. Finally it seems the Democrats have finally turned the corner and are now ready to face up to their abysmal performance in the last presidential election by acknowledging that the American people indeed choose Trump over their Hillary Clinton. Thankfully, they will also now rest their "Russians Did It" cockamamie and find a message they can present to the people and for the good of the country.. Time to move the process forward is now as American people did not buy into the crap of a Russian collusion which they tried unsuccessfully to sell to them.

North Korea PUT ON NOTICE

NORTH KOREA  PUT ON NOTICE: DON'T PUSH ME.
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. As I said, they will be met with the fire and fury and, frankly, power." - President Donald John Trump. ICHEOKU says the Michelin Tire midget at Pyongyang is definitely courting trouble and messing with the wrong man. He probably thinks Barack Obama the redline president is still in office; but unbeknownst to him there is a new sheriff in town and his name is Donald John Trump and he does not mess around. Hopefully China can rein in the little man before he commits mass suicide with his North Korean people.

NORTH KOREA: TOTAL ANNIHILATION NOW ON THE TABLE.

NORTH KOREA: TOTAL ANNIHILATION NOW ON THE TABLE.

ICHEOKU says once again the diminutive midget of Pyongyang has been advised to heed the resolution of the United Nations firm stand against his continuing provocations; and that the total wiping out of his North Korea is now an option should he force the hands of the United States of American military. In a statement by the Defense Secretary Jim Maddog Mattis over its latest nuclear test, the secretary said “Our commitment among the allies are ironclad. Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming. We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said, we have many options to do so.” ICHEOKU says does not really know the joker that guy has, but whatever it is will likely very soon be forced out. The world including ICHEOKU is waiting and watching.

BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY

BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY
ICHEOKU says the time has come and the time is now for the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra to be allowed to choose their self governance and exit from Nigeria going forward.. A referendum on the future of Biafra is a legitimate demand of the people and it is their right to so do. The people of the Nation of Biafra want to go their own way because of the hostilities from other member nations of Nigeria. Let the United Nations order a referendum and let the people decide their own Biafraexit.

PDJT ISSUES A VERDICT ON ISLAMIST TERRORISTS


"There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it. Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God; they worship death. If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen and what will be the end result. Terrorism's devastation of life will continue to spread, peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence, and the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered. If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing, then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God." - President Donald John Trump.


BBOB: BRING BACK OUR BIAFRA

ICHEOKU says it is worth fighting for, self determination and it is not a crime for a people to aspire for self governance. Indigenous Peoples of Biafra are marching forward and hopefully they will soon get to the promised land. Viva Biafra.
#BringBackOurBiafra.





"When two raging fires meet together, they do consume the thing that feeds their fury. Though little fire grows great with little wind, yet extreme gusts do blow out fire." - William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew


WHAT REALLY MATTERS IN LIFE - STEVE JOBS

“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth. Memories precipitated by love is the only true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on. The most expensive bed in the world is the sick bed. You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear sickness for you. Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – Life. Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends. Treat yourself well. Cherish others.” - SJ

EVIL CANNOT BE TRULY DESTROYED.

"The threat of evil is ever present. We can contain it as long as we stay vigilant, but it can never truly be destroyed. - Lorraine Warren (Annabelle, the movie)


ONLY THE POOR WISH THEY HAD STUFF?

“I’m not that interested in material things. As long as I find a good bed that I can sleep in, that’s enough.” - Nicolas Berggruem, the homeless billionaire.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

VIEIRA & WAIE OF GUINEA-BISSAU, WHAT A DOUBLE TRAGEDY?

As another African leader bites the dust, the whole world is trying to make sense out of the double tragedy that struck the tiny West African country of Guinea-Bissau. Her President Joao Bernardo Vieira 69 (right), and Chief of Army Staff, General Tagme Na Waie (below) were respectively killed within just a few hours apart. The former by 5.00am Monday March 2, 2009 and the later on Sunday March 1, 2009 night?
The marauding and rebellious soldiers which took the life of the president were reacting to the act of violence authorised, sanctioned and carried out by and on the orders of the late president on their chief of army staff. According to available information, the chief of army staff was bombed to death in his official quarters on the direct orders of the late president? Icheoku says, what a brutal taking of law into ones' hands both by the president who instigated his own very demise and the amok-running khaki-boys who wasted him in retaliation! Why must a sitting African president always see himself as a "god" who can, at his whims, take the life of another human-being without first going through due process? In a way, Icheoku some-what accedes to the riotous soldiers show of instant justice, at least to prove to these African "demi-gods" leaders that they are not all that supreme!
If the chief of army staff did something wrong, where was the president's Commander-In-Chief's power, with which he would have relieved him of his office; rather than the primitive act of "shooting him between the eyes"? The chief of Army staff was, before any-other thing, a brother, a husband, a father, an uncle and a tribesman to so many Guinea-Bissau people; so why would the late president think that his action will not elicit a response? This is especially so in Africa, where tribal loyalty far exceed any allegiance to any oath of office, and revenge-killing is somewhat viewed as very honorable; and coming just a few hours after the state murder of an "innocent" Chief of Army staff makes it more "worthwhile". According to law, one is innocent until proven guilty, so without any form of trial, the Chief of Army Staff would be adjudged innocent.
Icheoku says, the Chairman of ECOWAS Mohamed Ibn Chambas assertion that the killing "is not only the assassination of a president or a chief of staff, it's the assassination of democracy", is an arrant nonsense as the president is not by himself the democracy in Guinea-Bissau but a mere product of the democracy and in his absence, another president will be elected. Also, if only the president had realized that in a democracy, there is a thing called rule of law, may be he would have not authorized the brutal murder of the chief of army staff and by so doing would have been alive today. The army sustains democracy in any given society and to simply kill their chief of staff without any cogent reason and in total disregard to due process, was the biggest insult on the Guinea-Bissau Armed Forces and peradventure, they reacted accordingly, as expected. Admitted an eye for an eye makes the world go blind, but Jesus Christ minded us that he who kills by the sword goes by the sword!

The Guinea-Bissau armed forces spokesman Samuel Fernandes, spoke well when he vowed that they "are going to pursue the attackers and avenge ourselves." Icheoku says, now that they have avenged the death of their chief of staff, may they allow democracy to continue to flourish in Guinea-Bissau and remain the brave custodians thereof, which they are! Be that as it may, Icheoku commiserates with the people of Guinea-Bissau on the double tragedy of their army chief of staff and president's violent deaths.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Twin assassinations leave Guinea-Bissau in turmoil
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Delicious Digg Facebook Fark Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Bookmarks Print By ASSIMO BALDE AND RUKMINI CALLIMACHI, Associated Press Writers Assimo Balde And Rukmini Callimachi, Associated Press Writers – Mon Mar 2, 5:19 pm ET Play Video AP – Soldiers assassinate president of Guinea-Bissau
Slideshow:Guinea-Bissau president assassinated AP – In this May 18, 2006 file photo, Guinea Bissau's President Joao Bernardo 'Nino' Vieira talks to the media … BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau – The man who ruled this small African nation for nearly a quarter-century was assassinated Monday just hours after a bomb killed his longtime rival, the armed forces chief, leaving behind a precarious power vacuum as the country struggles to stem a booming cocaine trade.

Analysts fear the back-to-back assassinations could shake up drug cartels that use the country as a transit point for shipping cocaine to Europe, leading to new alliances.

President Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira had ruled Guinea-Bissau for 22 of the past 29 years, surviving numerous attempted coups, including one four months ago when gunmen opened fire on his home. Vieira later complained that the military had failed to intervene, leaving his body guards to fend off the attackers alone.

Tension between him and the head of the army escalated further in January, when Gen. Batiste Tagme na Waie received a call from the president's office, asking him to come at once, said his chief of staff Lt. Col. Bwam Namtcho. Waie rushed outside and was nearly killed when assailants opened fire on his car, a sequence of events that prompted Waie to believe the attack had been ordered by Vieira.

On Sunday, the army chief was killed when a bomb hidden beneath the staircase in his office exploded, said Namtcho.

Hours later, volleys of automatic gunfire rang out for at least two hours before dawn outside Vieira's palace. Military spokesman Zamora Induta denied the military had killed Vieira in retaliation for Waie's assassination, instead calling the attackers "an isolated group" and vowing to pursue them.

The former Portuguese colony has suffered multiple coups and attempted coups since 1980, when Vieira himself took power in one. His relationship with the army was always an uneasy one, fueled by a continuing power struggle as well as ethnic differences. Whereas most army officers are Balanta, the country's dominant ethnic group, Vieira is Papel, a far smaller ethnicity representing just 5 percent of the population.

After an attempted coup in the mid-1980s, Vieira established a military tribunal and systematically purged the top Balanta officers, condemning many of them to death. One of the country's top lawyers — who was also Balanta — was among those executed and Vieira did not back down even when Pope John Paul II asked for clemency.

While Waie was not killed, he was dropped off on a deserted island miles off the coast of the tiny nation and left there for years along with other coup plotters before being allowed back, according to country experts and Namtcho.

Vieira's death creates a dangerous opening in light of the country's appeal to cocaine smugglers.

While demand for cocaine has leveled off in America, it continues to rise in Europe, forcing Latin American drug cartels to aggressively seek new routes to smuggle cocaine to Europe. In recent years, they have begun flying small, twin-engine planes to Africa's West coast, where they land on deserted islands or on dirt runways and then parcel out the drugs to dozens of smugglers who ferry them north.

Guinea-Bissau, ringed by an archipelago of uninhabited islands, has become a key transit point for Europe-bound cocaine, with the government estimating that as much as 1,750 pounds of the drug is transiting the country's borders each week. It's an amount worth billions of dollars per year, dwarfing all other economic sectors.

"Like many countries in West Africa, Guinea Bissau has seen an increase in the amount of cocaine being trafficked over its borders during recent years," Interpol's Drugs and Criminal Organizations Unit said in a statement to The Associated Press, which detailed a special project launched by the agency to address the issue.

The power vacuum in the country could make it even more attractive for drug cartels, who under increasing pressure in neighboring countries. But Antonio Mazzitelli, West Africa director of the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime, argues that the cocaine trade could not have flourished as it did without the approval — if tacit — of the head of state.

"I always believed that Nino (Vieira) was a good ally of the traffickers, so at the end of the day they might find themselves penalized by this situation," said Mazzitelli.

"If Nino was not part of the drug trafficking, then there was a kind of silent agreement to allow the traffickers to make their money and allow him to continue running his country."

Under this scenario, his death could lead to a reshuffling of political alliances with drug lords trying to create new partnerships.

Vieira's death comes at the same time that the leader of a recent coup in neighboring Guinea appears to be cracking down on that country's cocaine trade, which flourished after the international community pressured Guinea-Bissau to take action.

Although numerous country experts stressed that the twin assassinations were not linked to drugs, Mazzitelli also points out that the method used to kill Waie — a bomb — is highly unusual.

Coup d'etats and assassinations are common throughout the region, but they are typically carried out with kalashnikovs — not explosives. The sophistication of the bomb, which most likely was detonated from afar, raises the question of whether the killers of the army chief received expert help. Colombian cartels, for example, are known for using car bombs in their own turf wars.

Stratfor, an Austin, Texas-based intelligence service, said while a commission of military chiefs has been established to rule the country for the present, it "expects the stuggle over control of the drug trade to continue to make Guinea-Bissau an unstable and violent country."

Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua, who heads ECOWAS, a regional bloc of 15 African states, said he is dispatching a delegation to investigate. "The fragile political situation in Guinea-Bissau has been further weakened by these events," he said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Jr. praised the military, calling them "patriots" for not seizing power in a coup. The constitution calls for parliament chief Raimundo Pereira to succeed the president in the event of his death.

"In the shorter term, this is bad news," said Richard Moncrieff, the West Africa director for the International Crisis Group. "Vieira wasn't a particularly good president but there's a real problem of a security vacuum, and I think there's a strong chance of ongoing factional fighting following his death and possibly the emergence of a military strongman."

Anonymous said...

Twin assassinations leave Guinea-Bissau in turmoil

The man who ruled this small African nation for nearly a quarter-century was assassinated Monday just hours after a bomb killed his longtime rival, the armed forces chief, leaving behind a precarious power vacuum as the country struggles to stem a booming cocaine trade.

Analysts fear the back-to-back assassinations could shake up drug cartels that use the country as a transit point for shipping cocaine to Europe, leading to new alliances.

President Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira had ruled Guinea-Bissau for 22 of the past 29 years, surviving numerous attempted coups, including one four months ago when gunmen opened fire on his home. Vieira later complained that the military had failed to intervene, leaving his body guards to fend off the attackers alone.

Tension between him and the head of the army escalated further in January, when Gen. Batiste Tagme na Waie received a call from the president's office, asking him to come at once, said his chief of staff Lt. Col. Bwam Namtcho. Waie rushed outside and was nearly killed when assailants opened fire on his car, a sequence of events that prompted Waie to believe the attack had been ordered by Vieira.

On Sunday, the army chief was killed when a bomb hidden beneath the staircase in his office exploded, said Namtcho.

Hours later, volleys of automatic gunfire rang out for at least two hours before dawn outside Vieira's palace. Military spokesman Zamora Induta denied the military had killed Vieira in retaliation for Waie's assassination, instead calling the attackers "an isolated group" and vowing to pursue them.

The former Portuguese colony has suffered multiple coups and attempted coups since 1980, when Vieira himself took power in one. His relationship with the army was always an uneasy one, fueled by a continuing power struggle as well as ethnic differences. Whereas most army officers are Balanta, the country's dominant ethnic group, Vieira is Papel, a far smaller ethnicity representing just 5 percent of the population.

After an attempted coup in the mid-1980s, Vieira established a military tribunal and systematically purged the top Balanta officers, condemning many of them to death. One of the country's top lawyers — who was also Balanta — was among those executed and Vieira did not back down even when Pope John Paul II asked for clemency.

While Waie was not killed, he was dropped off on a deserted island miles off the coast of the tiny nation and left there for years along with other coup plotters before being allowed back, according to country experts and Namtcho.

Vieira's death creates a dangerous opening in light of the country's appeal to cocaine smugglers.

While demand for cocaine has leveled off in America, it continues to rise in Europe, forcing Latin American drug cartels to aggressively seek new routes to smuggle cocaine to Europe. In recent years, they have begun flying small, twin-engine planes to Africa's West coast, where they land on deserted islands or on dirt runways and then parcel out the drugs to dozens of smugglers who ferry them north.

Guinea-Bissau, ringed by an archipelago of uninhabited islands, has become a key transit point for Europe-bound cocaine, with the government estimating that as much as 1,750 pounds of the drug is transiting the country's borders each week. It's an amount worth billions of dollars per year, dwarfing all other economic sectors.

"Like many countries in West Africa, Guinea Bissau has seen an increase in the amount of cocaine being trafficked over its borders during recent years," Interpol's Drugs and Criminal Organizations Unit said in a statement to The Associated Press, which detailed a special project launched by the agency to address the issue.

The power vacuum in the country could make it even more attractive for drug cartels, who under increasing pressure in neighboring countries. But Antonio Mazzitelli, West Africa director of the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime, argues that the cocaine trade could not have flourished as it did without the approval — if tacit — of the head of state.

"I always believed that Nino (Vieira) was a good ally of the traffickers, so at the end of the day they might find themselves penalized by this situation," said Mazzitelli.

"If Nino was not part of the drug trafficking, then there was a kind of silent agreement to allow the traffickers to make their money and allow him to continue running his country."

Under this scenario, his death could lead to a reshuffling of political alliances with drug lords trying to create new partnerships.

Vieira's death comes at the same time that the leader of a recent coup in neighboring Guinea appears to be cracking down on that country's cocaine trade, which flourished after the international community pressured Guinea-Bissau to take action.

Although numerous country experts stressed that the twin assassinations were not linked to drugs, Mazzitelli also points out that the method used to kill Waie — a bomb — is highly unusual.

Coup d'etats and assassinations are common throughout the region, but they are typically carried out with kalashnikovs — not explosives. The sophistication of the bomb, which most likely was detonated from afar, raises the question of whether the killers of the army chief received expert help. Colombian cartels, for example, are known for using car bombs in their own turf wars.

Stratfor, an Austin, Texas-based intelligence service, said while a commission of military chiefs has been established to rule the country for the present, it "expects the stuggle over control of the drug trade to continue to make Guinea-Bissau an unstable and violent country."

Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua, who heads ECOWAS, a regional bloc of 15 African states, said he is dispatching a delegation to investigate. "The fragile political situation in Guinea-Bissau has been further weakened by these events," he said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Jr. praised the military, calling them "patriots" for not seizing power in a coup. The constitution calls for parliament chief Raimundo Pereira to succeed the president in the event of his death.

"In the shorter term, this is bad news," said Richard Moncrieff, the West Africa director for the International Crisis Group. "Vieira wasn't a particularly good president but there's a real problem of a security vacuum, and I think there's a strong chance of ongoing factional fighting following his death and possibly the emergence of a military strongman."

Anonymous said...

Parliament head sworn in as Guinea-Bissau leader
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Delicious Digg Facebook Fark Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Bookmarks Print By TODD PITMAN, Associated Press Writer Todd Pitman, Associated Press Writer – Tue Mar 3, 3:18 pm ET Play Video AP – Soldiers assassinate president of Guinea-Bissau
Slideshow:Guinea-Bissau president assassinated AP – A soldier stands outside a collapsed section of Guinea-Bissau's military headquarters where a bomb killed … BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau – The head of Guinea-Bissau's parliament took the oath of office as president Tuesday, a day after the man who ruled this tiny, coup-prone West African nation for two decades was gunned down in front of his wife inside their villa.

A hush fell over the parliament chamber as delegates stood, solemnly observing a moment of silence for President Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira and his long-standing rival, the head of the armed forces.

The two were assassinated in back-to-back attacks beginning Sunday night, when a bomb hidden underneath a staircase killed the army chief inside his office. His inner circle pointed the finger at Vieira and hours later, the president was assassinated.

On Tuesday, Head of Parliament Raimundo Pereira became the country's new interim president, quelling speculation the army had been planning a coup and marking a welcome continuation of democratic rule after the two killings shocked the nation.

Speaking to several hundred lawmakers and visiting diplomats shortly afterward against the backdrop of a giant national flag hanging on the wall behind him, Pereira urged the military to respect civil rule.

"Since the era of democracy came to Guinea-Bissau, most presidents have been unable to finish their mandate," Pereira said. "My time in office will be temporary, but I will do my all to organize elections in time."

According to the constitution, a presidential ballot should be held within 60 days. "But that is only a theory right now," said parliament member Talibe Djau. "Two months is not much time to prepare after such a tragedy."

Pereira said his mission would be to help Guinea-Bissau "achieve our dreams," namely, building the foundation for peace.

In earlier comments, Pereira called for calm in the former Portuguese colony, which is struggling to stem a booming cocaine trade.

Life appeared to have returned to normal in Bissau by Tuesday. But some expressed hope things would change for the better.

"We're tired of all this violence and coups. Every time we elect somebody, something like this happens," said Marciano Alfonse Vaz, one of a couple hundred people who stood outside parliament. "We feel ashamed. All we can hope for is that now our politicians will finally help us."

The military blamed an "isolated group" of soldiers for Vieira's assassination and categorically denied the death was retribution for the killing a day earlier of Vieira's longtime rival, armed forces chief of staff Gen. Batiste Tagme na Waie.

Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, a member of a fact-finding mission sent by ECOWAS, a regional bloc of 15 African states, said late Tuesday that the twin assassinations have ramifications for the continent.

"We took it as a tragedy for Africa as a whole because once again the rest of the world is watching us and making judgments," said Gadio, who is Senegal's minister of foreign affairs.

He said ECOWAS was focused on finding answers. "We need to know what happened to President Vieira and what happened to the armed forces' chief of staff," he said.

The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday condemned the assassinations and called on Guinea-Bissau's government to bring those responsible for the killings to justice.

The left side of Guinea-Bissau's two-story military headquarters building was been blown apart in the blast, reduced to a pile of collapsed rubble.

Vieira's home, a modest bungalow in the capital, had a rocket hole beside its front door. Several cars including a black Hummer parked outside were riddled with bullet holes, and shards of glass littered the street. Gadio said the ECOWAS delegation met with Vieira's widow who said her husband had essentially been executed before her eyes.

Guinea-Bissau has suffered multiple coups and attempted coups since 1980 when Vieira himself took power in one. He was forced out 19 years later at the onset of the country's civil war, later returning from exile in Portugal to run in the country's 2005 election and win the vote.

Vieira's death creates a dangerous opening in light of the country's appeal to cocaine smugglers.

While demand for cocaine has leveled off in the U.S., it continues to rise in Europe, forcing Latin American drug cartels to aggressively seek new routes to smuggle cocaine to Europe. In recent years, they have begun flying small, twin-engine planes to Africa's West coast, where they land on deserted islands or on dirt runways and then parcel out the drugs to dozens of smugglers who ferry them north. The government estimates that as much as 1,750 pounds (800 kilograms) of the drug is transiting the country's borders each week, an amount worth billions of dollars per year.

It's unclear how the assassinations of the two powerful figures will affect the drug trade. Many have long suspected that the army chief and the president were complicit in the trade. Others — including the U.N. drug czar for the region — have argued that they were powerless to stop them.

"Drug traffickers do need partners to serve their interest and reduce the risk generated by this situation," said Antonio Mazzitelli, the West Africa director of the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime. "Both President Vieira and Gen. Tagme were very vocal against the infiltration of narcotraffickers in the country — but also powerless against their financial power of corruption."

While the twin assassinations do not appear to be drug-related, analysts point out that the use of a bomb to kill Waie is highly unusual in West Africa, where assassinations and coups d'etat are still the domain of the Kalashnikov.

"For the first time, a bomb was used, which looks really and truly not African — that's the not the way such actions are put together (here in Africa)," said Gadio of the ECOWAS delegation.

The use of the bomb could indicate that the assassination was a contract job, led by foreigners. It's led some to point the finger at the Colombian drug cartels.

Anonymous said...

Guinea-Bissau speaker is sworn in

Raimundo Pereira must organise a new presidential election within 60 days
Guinea-Bissau's parliament has elected the speaker as the West African state's interim leader, a day after the president was assassinated.

Raimundo Pereira must organise a fresh presidential election within 60 days.

President Joao Bernardo Vieira was shot dead by soldiers who blamed him for a bomb attack that killed the army chief on Sunday.

The UN Security Council condemned the two killings and urged the government to bring those responsible to justice.

Guinea-Bissau - a major transit point for Latin American cocaine headed for Europe - has been plagued by political unrest since it gained independence from Portugal in 1974.

FROM THE BBC WORLD SERVICE


More from BBC World Service

Before taking the oath of office on Tuesday, national assembly leader Mr Pereira said Guinea-Bissau was "facing a very delicate situation".

He called on MPs "to assume their responsibility toward the nation".

Lawmakers in the capital Bissau also observed a moment of silence for President Vieira and for the army chief-of-staff Gen Tagme Na Waie.

Life in the city began to return to normal with some businesses re-opening, although shoppers briefly fled two market places in panic after rumours spread of fresh shooting, according to Reuters news agency.

'Fragile situation'



Guinea Bissau swears in new leader
The United Nations Security Council "condemns in the strongest terms the assassinations," the 15-member body said in a statement.
"The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to support the efforts of the government and people of Guinea-Bissau to consolidate democratic institutions, peace and stability in that country".

The statement also said the council "opposes any attempt to change the government through unconstitutional means".

Diplomats representing West African and Portuguese-speaking nations have also said they hope the constitution will be honoured.

Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua, who heads the 15-member regional bloc Ecowas, has sent a delegation to the country.




Obituary: President Vieira
Haunted by history of crisis
"The fragile political situation in Guinea-Bissau has been further weakened by these events," he said.

Soldiers killed President Vieira early on Monday in an apparent tit-for-tat attack after Gen Waie was blown up in his headquarters hours earlier.

The African Union's Peace and Security Council decided not to suspend Guinea-Bissau when it met in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Tuesday, as it said the attacks did not represent a coup.

The AU suspended neighbouring Guinea and Mauritania after coups last year.

Guinea-Bissau's army has denied it is launching a coup and has promised to honour the constitution.

Portugal's foreign minister also arrived in Bissau and reportedly said he did not see any need for international military intervention in the country.


Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade has reportedly sent a plane to pick up Mr Vieira's wife and children and take them to Dakar.

Guinea-Bissau, an impoverished former Portuguese colony of 1.6 million people, has been plagued by coups since 1980, when Mr Vieira himself first came to power in one.

Monday's attack was the second on President Vieira in recent months.

In November, his residence was targeted by soldiers with automatic weapons.

In January, Gen Waie had a narrow escape when unidentified gunmen opened fire on his car.

He reportedly suspected the attack had been ordered by Mr Vieira, as he had just stepped outside after receiving a call from the presidency asking him to come at once.