The latest coup in Guinea-Bissau was likely led by Army Chief of Staff Antonio Indjai and motivated by discontent over Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior’s attempt to use the Angolan military presence in the country to bolster his own position and weaken Army leadership.
If no counter-coup emerges, which we assess unlikely if Army Chief of Staff Indjai is indeed behind the current attempt, the Army leadership is likely rapidly to transfer power to a candidate of their choice. This would probably be either Kumba Yala or Serifo Balde Namhajo, a PAIGC dissident opposed to Gomes Junior’s camp.
Following the coup, the new government would likely seek to reduce Angola’s economic footprint in the country. This will pose a high risk of further delays or revisions to Angola’s $500 million project for the development of a bauxite mine in the Boe region and a deep-water port in Buba. Other Angolan interests in the country include Banco Privado Atlantico’s shareholding in Guinea-Bissau bank BAO and Sonangol’s shareholding in Portuguese firm Galp which is involved in the downstream oil sector.
Risks to exploration contracts in the nascent offshore oil sector, as well as gold and phosphate mining contracts will be at lower risk of revision or cancellation as these are not specifically tied to Gomes Junior.
Although Angolan troops (MISSANG) have not yet withdrawn physically from the country, we assess it is unlikely that Angolan troops will intervene to reverse the coup. This is because the announcement of the mission’s withdrawal appears to signal that Angola has decided it prefers to try and salvage its remaining economic interests over protecting Gomes Junior at all costs. It has probably realised that it cannot sideline the Army leadership, and will therefore not seek to antagonise it further by intervening to reverse the coup.
Exclusive Analysis Ltd is a specialist intelligence company that forecasts commercially relevant political and violent risks worldwide.