Guinea-Bissau coup plotter held

 Guinea-Bissau coup plotter heldThe alleged leader of a coup attempt in Guinea-Bissau last week has been arrested in the Gambia, officials say.

Rear Adm Americo Bubo Na Tchuto earlier escaped from house
arrest in Guinea-Bissau, travelling to the neighbouring country by sea,
Gambian officials said.

The navy chief is suspected of asking senior officers for help in ousting President Joao Bernardo Vieira.

The former Portuguese colony is in the throes of a political crisis that has seen the president dissolve parliament.

That decision came a month after one of Guinea-Bissau’s three main parties quit the unity government.

Courting support

Last Thursday, Mr Na Tchuto telephoned several top officers to
request their assistance in his plan to depose the president, an army
spokesman said.

He was put under house arrest but escaped to the Gambia on Monday, where he was reportedly arrested shortly after his arrival.

Guinea-Bissau, one of the world’s poorest countries, has a history of coups.

President Vieira first came to power on the back of a military coup in 1980, while he was head of the armed forces.

He was toppled in 1999 but returned to win the presidency as an independent in 2005.