First president of Guinea-Bissau dies aged 78

BISSAU - Luis Cabral, the first post-independence president of Guinea-Bissau who was later toppled in a military coup, has died of a heart attack in Lisbon, officials announced on Sunday. He was 78.
"It is with shock and sadness that the government and people of Guinea-Bissau have learnt of the loss of one of their most illustrious sons, Luis Cabral," the government announced in a statement.

First president of Guinea-Bissau dies aged 78
The government was to hold an emergency session to organise preparations for a three-day period of national mourning, the statement added.
Natural Resources Minister Oscar Barbosa, a close ally of the former president, said that Cabral had died of a heart attack in the Portuguese capital on Saturday night.
Cabral was a half-brother of Amilcar Cabral, long-time leader of the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) liberation movement, who was assassinated in 1973 -- the year before Guinea-Bissau attained its independence from Portugal.
Cabral ruled in Guinea-Bissau until he was overthrown in a coup led by "First Commissar", or prime minister, Joao Bernardo Vieira on November 14, 1980.
After his ouster, Cabral was imprisoned for six months before being released after the intervention of the Cuban government.
He then spent most of the rest of his life in exile in Portugal, although he did make a brief return to Guinea-Bissau 1999 after Vieira was toppled in another coup.
News of his death comes less than three months after Vieira, who returned to power in 2005 elections, was assassinated by soldiers in the hours after a bomb attack which claimed the life of the West African country's military chief.

Sunday, May 31st 2009

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