The man suspected of masterminding an attack on the home of Guinea-Bissau’s president last month has been arrested, the interior ministry says. Alexandre Tchama Yala was detained in neighbouring Senegal, an official says.

Senegal said a man suspected of being linked to the attack had been arrested, but did not name him. Mutinous soldiers carried out the armed attack on the President Joao Bernardo Vieira’s house a day after his party won parliamentary elections.

The result was rejected by a former president, Koumba Yala, whose party has strong support in the military. Mr Tchama Yala, a navy sergent, took part in an army mutiny in 1998 which sparked a year-long civil war in Guinea-Bissau.

Correspondents say he is regarded as close to Guinea-Bissau’s former navy chief, who fled to The Gambia after the November attack. Guinea-Bissau has had a history of coups and conflict since independence.

The UN has warned that the country’s instability and poverty makes it vulnerable to Latin American drugs traffickers, who are increasingly transporting cocaine to Europe via West Africa.

International observers had hoped that the successful election and clear mandate would bring stability to Guinea-Bissau.



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