After almost a year at the head of his country, Bissau-Guinean Umaro Sissoco Embaló stands out thanks to his outspokenness. The head of state hopes to thoroughly reform Guinea-Bissau, not without saying what he thinks.
"I am cash and I will not change". Last September, after seven months at the head of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embaló kept his banter, as he said in an interview. There is no question of being more diplomatic or populist because he is at the head of his country: the Bissau-Guinean president wants to continue to speak freely, as he always has done. Even if it means offending other African heads of state ...
Example in August 2020. While sitting in a virtual meeting of the ECOWAS, President Embaló discusses the resignation of IBK in Mali after the takeover of power by the military. "If what happened in Mali is a coup d'etat, then the third terms were also a coup," he said, aiming without naming them Alassane Ouattara and Alpha Condé, who are preparing to kill them. 'time both to re-enlist for a third term and that Embaló therefore compares to the Malian putschists.
"Alpha Condé has no respect for me, and I have no respect for him"
An attack in order which shows that Umaro Sissoco Embaló is not afraid of anything, nor of anyone. The Bissau-Guinean head of state also wants to weigh in by reminding his ECOWAS counterparts that the institution does not have to support presidents who cling to power. When Ouattara answers him, Embaló does not weaken: There is "no small country" in ECOWAS, he says, as if to remind that his opinion counts as much as that of the presidents "for life".
It is also a way for Umar Sissoco Embaló to show that he has memory. Because less than a year ago, Alpha Condé and Alassane Ouattara supported his opponent during the Bissau-Guinean presidential election. Alpha Condé "has no respect for me, and I have no respect for him," Embaló freely explains in an interview.
However, beyond resentment, President Bissau-Guinean advances arguments in favor of a better governed Africa. For example, he estimates that beyond the age of 80, a man cannot preside over the destinies of a country. "Africa should no longer have to deal with Mugabe", he sums up, he who wishes "to leave power at the age of 57".
"I am a republican and I only seek to strengthen institutions"
With his “direct and cash style”, Umar Sissoco Embaló is an iconoclastic president. It is rare to meet a media correspondent who does not have Embaló's mobile number in his address book. This is certainly what makes him so popular with the media: simplicity in his statements, no tongue in cheek and an impressive amount of sympathy. Embaló is also of interest for its explosive friendly relations, Alexandre Benalla and Nicolas Sarkozy in the lead.
But if Umar Sissoco Embaló is also appreciated, it is because he has a real political project. “I am not trying to strengthen the powers of the president (…). I am a Republican and I am only looking to strengthen institutions. My goal is to put an end to the mess caused by bad interpretations of the Constitution, to clarify the ambiguities that there may be between the different institutions and to delimit the powers of each ”, he explained at the end. of year at Jeune Afrique. The Bissau-Guinean president also wants to reduce corruption, put an end to drug trafficking and ensure that his country is no longer "a beggar state" from international institutions. The road will be long but Umar Sissoco Embaló hopes to put his program into practice in the years to come.