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Monday, 22 October, 2001, 18:38 GMT 19:38 UK
Jobs move raises tempers in Bissau
Guinea-Bissau civil war, 1998
Memories of civil war are still fresh in Guinea-Bissau
The West African state of Guinea Bissau has held a special session of parliament to discuss the behaviour of President Kumba Yalla.

Some MPs are calling for him to be dismissed on the grounds of mental incapacity.

The president said earlier that he intended to sack up to 60% of the country's civil service workers and replace them with members of his own political party, citing what he described as large-scale corruption and embezzlement.

He also warned he had given orders to shoot any politicians who tries to use the army against him or even so much as enters a military barracks.

Saviour

Mr Kumba Yalla was hailed as a saviour when elected in 2000.

However he went on to purge the army of opponents and last month he dismissed three Supreme Court judges.

Guinea Bissau suffered a series of bloody military coups following its independence from Portugal in 1974.

Guinea Bissau militant
Guinea Bassau has had two coups since its first democratic election in 1994

The country's first free elections were held in 1994 but military coups and civil war followed until last year's election.

BBC correspondent Balamusa Conte says that the people of Guinea Bissau are now bewildered by their president's actions.

"They are surprised, he is doing things that are against the constitution and people do not know what to think," he said.

See also:

04 Sep 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Guinea-Bissau
25 Jul 01 | Africa
Timeline: Guinea-Bissau
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