President Malam Bacai Sanha of Guinea-Bissau died today in Paris after a lengthy hospitalization and illness. He has only been in power for two years and was the first elected president following the 2009 assassination of former President Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira. National Assembly leader, Raimundo Pereira, is expected to rule until elections can be held as required by the constitution within 90 days. Pereira had previously assumed control of the government following the assassination of Vieira.
The recent attempted coup (Dec 2011) that resulted in the arrest of Rear-Admiral José Americo Bubo Na Tchuto threatens a peaceful change of power in Guinea-Bissau. Bubo Na Tchuto was identified by the US Government as a drug king-pin who had used navy boats to transport drugs. Bubo Na Tchuto was recently reappointed the chief of Navy after fleeing following his participating in a 2008 coup attempt. Guinea-Bissau is a major drug transit point between South America and Europe and the government and military of Guinea-Bissau have been accused of assisting drug trafficking. In 2010, the US accused both Bubo Na Tchuto and Air Force Chief of Staff Ibraima Pap Camara of assisting drug trafficking. Colombian drug lords were also accused of orchestrating the assassination of the former president in 2009 and Army Chief.
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