Batista Tagme Na Waie

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General Batista Tagme Na Waie, also transliterated as Batista Tagme Na Wai (1949 – March 1, 2009) was chief of staff of the army of Guinea-Bissau until his assassination in 2009.

Early life[edit]

Na Waie was born in Catió. A participant in the junta that overthrew João Bernardo Vieira in the 1990s and a veteran of the Guinea-Bissau War of Independence,[1] Na Waie was a member of the Balanta ethnic group.[2] He had been appointed chief of staff as the result of the October 2004 murder of his predecessor, Verissimo Correia Seabra; IRIN has described him as a "consensus figure put forward by the military establishment which the government felt forced to accept".[1]

Political tension[edit]

A "bitter rival" of Vieira,[3] both before the junta (having survived Vieira's purges of the Guinea-Bissau military in the 1980s)[2] and after Vieira's return to power, Na Waie reported surviving an assassination attempt in January 2009, when a militia assigned to the presidential palace opened fire on his staff car; the militia denied that this had been an assassination attempt.[4][5]

Death[edit]

On March 1, 2009, Na Waie was killed by an explosion in the headquarters of the Guinea-Bissau military. While witnesses reported seeing a rocket-propelled grenade,[6] aides to Na Waie reported that a bomb was detonated under a staircase as Na Waie was heading to his office.[7]

Aftermath[edit]

In the early hours of the next day, Vieira was killed, apparently by troops loyal to Na Waie; a military representative subsequently denied allegations that Vieira's death had been a retaliation.[3] Army spokesman Zamora Induta did, however, say that Vieira had been involved in Na Waie's assassination.[8] An army officer said on March 5 that Na Waie had found a stash of cocaine weighing 200 kilograms at an army hangar about a week before he was killed.[9] His funeral was held at the Military Club in Bissau on March 8.[10] On March 26, it was reported that three senior officers — Colonel Arsene Balde, Colonel Abdoulaye Ba, and Brigadier General Melcias Fernandes — had been arrested in the preceding days for involvement in Na Waie's death.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "GUINEA-BISSAU: 65 senior officers readmitted to armed forces". IRIN. December 2, 2004. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  2. ^ a b Associated Press (March 2, 2009). "A look at Guinea-Bissau's history of instability". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 2009-03-02. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b Pallister, David (March 2, 2009). "Guinea-Bissau president 'killed in clash between rival soldiers'". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  4. ^ "G.Bissau's military chief says survived attempt on his life". Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  5. ^ "Guinea-Bissau military chief killed in grenade attack". The Times (London). March 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  6. ^ "Attackers blow up part of Bissau armed forces HQ". Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  7. ^ "Guinea-Bissau president killed". Archived from the original on 3 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-02.  Al Jazeera, 2 March 2009.
  8. ^ Howden, Daniel (2009-03-03). "President shot dead in palace as rebel troops take revenge". Independent (London). Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 
  9. ^ "Murdered G.Bissau general to be buried Sunday", AFP, March 7, 2009.
  10. ^ "Guinea Bissau military chief buried", AFP (IOL), March 8, 2009.
  11. ^ "Three officers arrested over GBissau army chief killing", AFP, March 26, 2009.