Umaro Mokhtar Sissoco Embaló (born 23 September 1972) is a Bissau-Guinean politician serving as the president of Guinea-Bissau since February 2020.[2][3] He is a political scientist and military officer who previously served as prime minister between November 2016 and January 2018.[4]

Umaro Sissoco Embaló
Embaló in 2019
6th President of Guinea-Bissau
Assumed office
27 February 2020
Prime MinisterNuno Gomes Nabiam
Geraldo Martins
Rui Duarte de Barros
Preceded byJosé Mário Vaz
18th Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau
In office
18 November 2016 – 16 January 2018
PresidentJosé Mário Vaz
Preceded byBaciro Djá
Succeeded byArtur Silva
Personal details
Born (1972-09-23) 23 September 1972 (age 51)
Bissau, Portuguese Guinea
Political partyMadem G15
SpouseDinisia Reis Embaló [fr][1]
Alma materTechnical University of Lisbon
Complutense University
Military service
Allegiance Guinea-Bissau
Rank Brigadier general

Life edit

Born in Bissau, Embaló holds a degree in international relations from the Higher Institute of Social and Political Sciences at the Technical University of Lisbon, as well as both a master's degree in political science and a doctorate in international relations from the Complutense University of Madrid. He is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, and competent in English, French, Arabic and Swahili.[5]

Embaló served in the military, undertaking National Defense Studies at the National Defense Center of Spain, and underwent further studies on National Security in Brussels, Tel Aviv, Johannesburg, Japan and Paris. He rose to the rank of brigadier-general.[5] Before his political career, Embaló academically specialised in African and Middle-Eastern affairs and in matters of defence, international co-operation and development. He is a former Minister of African Affairs.

Premiership edit

Embaló formed his cabinet on 13 December 2016 after having been appointed prime minister by President José Mário Vaz on 18 November 2016.[6]

However, Embaló took the post while under a boycott of his own party, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), which through its Central Committee gave him a vote of distrust of one hundred and twelve votes in favor and eleven against on 26 November 2016.[7]

As head of government, he could only count on the support of the Social Renovation Party, which had the second largest number of seats in the National People's Congress of Guinea-Bissau.[8]

On 13 January 2018, after disagreements with President José Mário Vaz, he was replaced according to the demands of João Fadiá (minister of finance) and Botche Candé (minister of the interior),[clarification needed][9] Embaló requested his resignation from the position, effective on 16 January 2018.[8]

2019 presidential elections edit

Embaló ran for president in 2019, running as the candidate of Madem G15. He finished in second place, with 27% of the vote, in the first round of voting.[10] According to the preliminary and final results published by the national commission of elections, he won the runoff vote against another ex-prime minister, Domingos Simões Pereira, 54% to 46%. However, the final results continue to be disputed by his opponent Domingos Simões Pereira.[11] Although neither the supreme court of Guinea-Bissau nor the parliament had given its approval for the official swearing-in ceremony, Sissoco Embaló had organized an alternative swearing-in ceremony in a hotel in Bissau to announce himself as legal president of Guinea-Bissau.[12] Several politicians in Guinea-Bissau, including Prime Minister Aristides Gomes, accused Sissoco Embaló of arranging a coup d'état, although outgoing president Mário Vaz stepped down to allow Embaló to take power.[13]

Presidency edit

Embaló with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, 1 January 2023
Embaló with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, 25 October 2022
Embaló with Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem, Israel, 3 March 2024

Sissoco Embaló has stated that his governing style is that of "Embaloism", which he defines as "order, discipline, and development", asserting that "there is neither small state nor small president" and comparing himself to Lee Kuan Yew and Rodrigo Duterte.[14][15] As part of an anti-corruption drive, he ordered the installation of CCTV surveillance cameras across the country and the arrest of Minister of Public Health Antonio Deuna on embezzlement charges in 2021.

In 2020, his presidency saw the retreat of Economic Community of West African States troops stationed in the country after the 2012 coup and attempts to arrange official visits from foreign heads of government, including the first visit from the Portuguese government in three decades, and international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund.[16][17] His first official visit as head of state was a multi-country tour of Senegal, Niger, and Nigeria in March 2020.[18]

A coup d'état to oust Embaló was attempted on 1 February 2022.[19][20][21] He said that "many" members of the security forces had been killed in a "failed attack against democracy."[22]

In May 2022, Embaló dissolved Guinea-Bissau's parliament, citing "persistent and unresolvable differences" with parliament.[23]

In July 2023, he attended the 2023 Russia–Africa Summit in Saint Petersburg and met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.[24][25]

On 4 December 2023, Embaló dissolved parliament, citing allegations of an attempted coup d'état. Speaker Domingos Simões Pereira accused Embaló of carrying out a constitutional coup.[26]

On 3 March 2024, Embaló visited Jerusalem and expressed support for Israel in the Israel–Hamas war.[27] He told Israeli President Isaac Herzog that "Guinea-Bissau and its people are at your side and ready to help you in any way possible."[28]

Honours edit


Gallery edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Sissoco Embaló reúne-se com Biden e Lavrov – DW – 23/09/2022". Deutsche Welle.
  2. ^ "Umaro Sissoco Embalo swears himself in as Guinea-Bissau president". BusinessDay. 27 February 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Guinée-Bissau – Umaro Sissoco Embaló : " Alpha Condé, Macky Sall, Compaoré, Sassou Nguesso, Kadhafi et moi " – Jeune Afrique". (in French). 27 January 2020. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  4. ^ "Guinea-Bissau names new prime minister, fifth in nine months". DW. Agence France-Presse and Reuters. 19 November 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Umaro Mokhtar Sissoco Embalo". Général Embalo (in French). Archived from the original on 13 March 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Guinea Bissau prime minister names cabinet amid political crisis". Thomson Reuters Foundation News. Reuters. 13 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Guinea Bissau's dominant party to boycott new government". Reuters. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Umaro Sissoco Embaló deixa Governo da Guiné-Bissau". DW (in Portuguese). Agência Lusa. 16 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Guiné-Bissau: Presidente analisa pedido de demissão do primeiro-ministro". DW (in Portuguese). Agência Lusa. 13 January 2018.
  10. ^ "CNE – Resultados provisórios presidenciais 2019". Comissão Nacional de Eleições (in Portuguese).
  11. ^ "Guinea-Bissau ex-PM Embalo declared winner of runoff". AfricaNews. 5 February 2020. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Umaro Sissoco Embalo swears himself in as Guinea-Bissau president". BusinessDay. 27 February 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  13. ^ Darame, Braima; Agência Lusa (27 February 2020). "Em meio a contencioso judicial, Sissoco toma "posse simbólica" como Presidente da Guiné-Bissau". DW (in Portuguese). Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  14. ^ Gourlay, Youenn (2 August 2021). "En Guinée-Bissau, la croisade du président Umaro Sissoco Embalo contre la drogue et la corruption". Le Monde (in French).
  15. ^ Touré, Frédéric Ange (10 February 2021). "Umaro Sissoco Embaló, le président iconoclaste". Le Journal de l'Afrique (in French).
  16. ^ "Guinea-Bissau wants Portugal as a privileged cooperation partner". GhanaWeb. 10 June 2021.
  17. ^ "Guinée-Bissau : Les ambitions africaines d'Umaro Sissoco Embaló". Le Journal de l'Afrique. (in French). 19 July 2021.
  18. ^ "Guinée-Bissau: Umaro Sissoco Embalo entame au Sénégal sa tournée des pays amis". RFI (in French). 11 March 2020.
  19. ^ "Fears of Guinea-Bissau coup attempt amid gunfire in capital". The Guardian. 1 February 2022. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
  20. ^ "Heavy gunfire heard near presidential palace in Guinea-Bissau". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
  21. ^ "Gunfire near government house in Guinea-Bissau". France 24. Agence France-Presse. 1 February 2022. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
  22. ^ "Guinea-Bissau president says 'many' dead after 'failed attack against democracy'". France 24. 1 February 2022. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
  23. ^ "Guinea Bissau president dissolves parliament in new political row". Al Jazeera. 17 May 2022.
  24. ^ "President of Guinea-Bissau arrives in St. Petersburg to attend Russia-Africa summit". TASS. 26 July 2023. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  25. ^ "Russia Africa Summit". Bowling Green Daily News. 27 July 2023.
  26. ^ "Guinea-Bissau dissolves parliament after coup bid". Agence France-Presse. 4 December 2023. Retrieved 5 December 2023 – via Radio France Internationale.
  27. ^ "Herzog tells visiting president of Guinea-Bissau: 'You are a true friend of Israel'". The Times of Israel. 3 March 2024.
  28. ^ "Visit to Israel: Embalò against the grain of History". Le journal de l'Afrique. 7 March 2024.
  29. ^ Jordan Times
Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of Guinea-Bissau