Timeline: U.S. names Bissau military brass as drug kingpins

BISSAU (Reuters) – The United States named top military officials in Guinea Bissau as international drugs traffickers, freezing their U.S. assets and banning Americans from commercial dealings with them.

The U.S. Treasury Department action against Air Force chief of staff Ibraima Papa Camara and former navy chief Jose Americo Bubo Na Chuto comes just a week after renegade soldiers allied to Na Chuto ousted the armed forces chief.

It is the latest bout of instability in a country which has known unrest since its struggle for independence from Portugal. Here are the key events:

July 1961 – The African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC) launches a guerrilla war against Portuguese rule.

September 10, 1974 – Guinea Bissau state is established after the collapse of Portugal’s dictatorship, stretched to breaking point by the war. Luis Cabral becomes president.

November 14, 1980 – Prime Minister Joao Bernado Vieira overthrows Cabral; military-dominated revolutionary council takes control.

1994-1999 – Vieira wins an election, survives a 1998 civil war in which several thousand are killed but is toppled in a military coup a year later. He flees into exile and is replaced by former philosophy professor, Kumba Yala, in a new election.

September 14, 2003 – Another coup: the army seizes power pledging to restore order after repeated delays to elections.

July 24, 2005 – Vieira wins election to return as president.

March 2, 2009 – Vieira killed hours after the killing of the armed forces chief of staff. National assembly speaker Raimundo Pereira is sworn in as interim head of state. Malam Bacai Sanha wins a July election run-off against Yala.

April 1-2 – Soldiers briefly detain Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior. They free suspected coup leader and former navy chief, Bubo Na Tchuto. They also replace armed forces chief of staff Admiral Jose Zamora Induta with his deputy, General Antonio Njai, who later reveals his allegiance to Na Tchuto.

April 8 – U.S. sanctions comes as Sanha mediates to resolve tensions between Gomes and the new army leaders.

Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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