Ansumane Mané bigraphy, stories - President of Guinea-Bissau

Ansumane Mané : biography

1940 - 30 November 2000

Ansumane Mané (c. 1940 – 30 November 2000) was a Guinea-Bissau soldier who led a 1998 uprising against the government of President João Bernardo Vieira, which caused a brief, but bloody Civil War.

Military background

Mané fought in the war of independence from Portugal alongside Vieira, and he backed Vieira when the latter seized power in a 1980 coup. In early 1998, he was suspended as Chief of Staff of the armed forces for allegedly smuggling arms to Casamance separatist rebels in Senegal.Andrea E. Ostheimer, , African Security Review, Vol. 10, No. 4, 2001. In a letter published in early April 1998, he in turn made the same accusation against the Minister of Defense, Samba Lamine Mané, and other officers; he also alleged that Vieira had permitted the arms smuggling and claimed that he was suspended as Chief of Staff in connection with "shady plan to mount a coup d'état"., IRIN-West Africa Daily Update 181, 6 April 1998.

Mané was subsequently dismissed by Vieira and replaced by General Humberto Gomes on 6 June 1998. He led a military rebellion against Vieira on the following day,, IRIN-West Africa Update 224, 8 June 1998. resulting in the civil war. A peace agreement in November 1998, IRIN, May 7, 1999. provided for a transitional national unity government and new elections.

After Vieira was deposed on 7 May 1999 in a renewed outbreak of fighting,, BBC News, May 7, 1999. Mané became temporary head of state (official title: Chairman of the Supreme Command of the Military Junta) until 14 May when Malam Bacai Sanhá, the President of the National People's Assembly, was installed as acting President.

Political growth

The military junta headed by Mané remained in place during the transitional period leading to new elections; Mané cast himself as a guardian of democracy. A parliamentary election, along with the first round of a presidential election, was held on 28 November 1999. Two weeks prior to this, Mané's junta proposed an arrangement giving it power over the government for ten years, which would enable it to dissolve the government in case of a severe political crisis; however, political parties objected to this and the proposal was dropped. Although the junta backed the presidential candidacy of Malam Bacai Sanhá of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) in the second round of the election, held in January 2000, Kumba Ialá of the Party for Social Renewal (PRS) was victorious. Prior to the election, Ialá had already said that it would not be acceptable for the junta to remain in any capacity.


Although the junta was dissolved following Ialá's victory, Mané remained powerful, acting as an obstacle to Ialá's authority. At one point he refused to allow Ialá to go to Senegal on a state visit; he also accompanied Ialá on a visit to Nigeria. In November 2000, Ialá promoted a number of senior military officers; Mané objected to the promotions and declared himself head of the armed forces. He revoked Ialá's promotions, placed military chief of staff Verissimo Correia Seabra and deputy chief of staff Emilio Costa under house arrest, and appointed General Buota Nan Batcha as the new chief of staff. When issuing a communique claiming that the situation was calm, he signed it as the head of the junta, which had previously been dissolved when Ialá was elected President. Fighting broke out on 23 November between forces loyal to Mané and those loyal to Seabra., IRIN, 23 November 2000. The government subsequently said that Mané fled to Quinhamel in Biombo Region, in the west of the country.


He was killed during a shootout with government forces in Biombo Region a week later, on 30 November 2000, along with two others. Although state television broadcast images of three bodies, these were deemed unrecognizable by the international media., IRIN, 1 December 2000. The opposition PAIGC said that Mané was correct to oppose the promotions."Guinea-Bissau: Opposition PAIGC says Gen Mane was right on promotions", PANA (, 4 December 2000.

Among Mané's most prominent allies was Naval Chief of Staff Mohamed Lamine Sanha.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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