The United States of America today expressed sadness of the passing of Bissau-Guinean President Malam Bacai Sanha at the age of 64.
Malam Bacai Sanha died at the Val de Grace in Paris where he was undergoing treatment.
According to media reports, Mr. Sanha, who came to power in 2009 after his predecessor was assassinated, was in poor health and had traveled to France for medical treatment in late November. Before that he had received intensive care treatment at a hospital in Senegal. The nature of Sanha’s illness was not disclosed, but he is believed to have suffered from diabetes.
U.S. Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the United States offers its condolences to the family of President Sanha, and especially to the people of Guinea-Bissau, on his passing.
“The United States remains a longstanding friend of the Bissau-Guinean people, and we will continue to support their aspirations for peace, stability, and prosperity.” -Ms. Nuland
She stressed that the U.S. government is pleased that the government of Guinea-Bissau and its military recently worked well together in addressing an internal threat to democratic governance.
“We look forward to collaborating with the international community and working with Acting-President Pereira to arrange timely elections.” -Ms. Nuland
Guinea-Bissau, a former Portuguese colony in West Africa, is bordered by Senegal to the north, and Guinea to the south.
In the years that followed, the country was plagued by coups, coup attempts and, in 2009, the assassination of then president Joao Bernardo Vieira.