On 12 April, chaos returned to the coup-prone state as soldiers derailed the presidential election by toppling the government and detaining the poll’s front-runner, ex-prime minister Carlos Gomes Junior and interim president Pereira. The military responded to Gomes’ efforts of cooperating with Angolan forces and Western donors to reduce the meddling of the oversized army in politics and drug-trafficking, by overthrowing the constitutional order.

Impact on country risk

The coup leaders are attempting to form a proxy interim government that will guarantee their interests and impunity from prosecution. Facing paralyzing sanctions, the military junta complied with Ecowas’ 72-hour ultimatum and released the two leading political prisoners while accepting the deployment of 600 Ecowas soldiers safeguarding democratic restoration. Thousands are fleeing the capital, banks are closing and the price of the main cash crop (cashew nuts) has plunged. The World Bank and African Development Bank suspended millions of dollars in programs, thus paralyzing the aid-dependent country. ONDD’s country policy regarding this fragile economy is already restrictive and given the negative risk outlook, it might become more stringent.

Analyst: Louise Van Cauwenbergh, l.vancauwenbergh@credendogroup.com