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Lusa - Business News - Sao Tome: Country calm after attack on barracks - PM




Sao Tome, Nov.25,2022(Lusa)- The prime minister of Sao Tome said on Friday that the situation in the country was "calm" after an attack on the barracks overnight, which caused a serious injury and several arrests, and said he expected a "firm hand" of justice on the perpetrators.
"I want to tell the Sao Tomeans, those who reside in the country, and the foreign community that the situation is under control, it is calm," the head of the Sao Tomean government, Patrice Trovoada, said today at a press conference to clarify the attack carried out in the early hours of this morning on the military barracks in the Sao Tomean capital.
The prime minister said that "for reasons of precaution", schools near the barracks are closed.
He said: "This is not a robbery, it is not a theft. It is an attack with weapons of war on the country's armed forces and we have to solve that problem first", he said.
According to the head of the government, the "attempted coup" started around 00:40 local time and "had its outcome, in operational terms, shortly after 06:00".
Patrice Trovoada described the case as "extremely serious" but wanted to leave a message of tranquillity: "The armed forces have the situation under control".
We need, he stressed, "a little prudence" and "the collaboration of the population".
"I hope that justice will do its job, Sao Tome and Príncipe does not deserve all these problems. The people are sovereign, the people have chosen this team to lead the destiny" of the country, he stressed. After the armed forces finish the "preliminary investigation operations, because everything indicates that there was some complicity within the barracks", it will be "the moment for Justice, the Prosecutor's Office [Attorney General of the Republic], and the Judicial Police, to go into action".
"We want the full ascertainment of the truth. This is not the first time we have suffered such situations, the last one was during my [previous] term of office, on 3 August 2018," he said, alluding to an alleged coup attempt in which three alleged Spanish mercenaries were arrested, just over a month before the legislative elections, and were released shortly afterwards without charges.
According to the prime minister, "everything indicates" that tonight's attack occurred "at the behest of some personalities" and he announced the arrest of former National Assembly president Delfim Neves and Arlécio Costa, a former officer of the 'Buffalo Battalion' who was convicted in 2009 for an alleged coup attempt.
"I hope that this time justice goes all the way, that everyone knows the truth and that the criminals are brought to justice, that they are tried and that justice has a firm, strong hand, because it is unacceptable that in a democracy people want to control, to usurp power by force," he stressed.
"Certain individuals do not accept the will of the ballot box and of the sovereign people and thus tarnish the country, trying to undermine all the efforts that the current Government is trying to make to recover our economy and try to bring the best to our people," he criticised.
The prime minister said that the four attackers, "linked to the famous and sad group of the 'Buffaloes'", who entered the barracks, apparently with the intention of getting hold of more weapons, were arrested.
These attackers, he clarified, were not all "neutralised", and operations are still underway on the ground.
The attack also resulted in a seriously wounded man, who he identified as "Lieutenant Marcelo" and who "was taken hostage and was barbarously beaten, but his life is not in danger".
Patrice Trovoada, leader of the Independent Democratic Action (ADI), became prime minister a fortnight ago, for the fourth time, following his victory with an absolute majority in the 25 September legislative elections.
Delfim Neves, who stood as a candidate with the newly created Basta, was one of the two elected to parliament by this movement.
JH/ADB // ADB.
Lusa


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2022-11-26 00:06:00







 

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