(Reuters) - Below are some facts about Guinea-Bissau President Joao Bernardo “Nino” Vieira. Residents said he had been killed by soldiers on Monday.
* Also known as “Nino,” Vieira seized power in a coup in 1980 after fighting as a guerrilla commander in the civil war that led to independence from Portugal in 1974.
* Vieira, 69, took Guinea-Bissau away from socialism and opened up the economy. Guinea-Bissau was accused of human rights abuses under his rule.
* He won Guinea-Bissau’s first multi-party elections in 1994 but was ousted in a putsch in 1999 after a civil war. He returned from asylum in 2005 to win a presidential election, the result of which was disputed.
* Vieira had quarreled with the largest political party, the PAIGC, which defeated a new formation allied to the president in a parliamentary election last November. Soon afterwards, Vieira survived an attack by renegade soldiers.
* Vieira had also been at odds with armed forces chief of staff General Batista Tagme Na Wai, who was killed in an attack on Sunday.
* Vieira is from the Pepel ethnic group, one of Guinea-Bissau’s smaller tribes, which comes from a coastal region in the northwest. There was often mistrust between Vieira and Guinea-Bissau’s biggest ethnic group, the Balante, to which Na Wai belonged.
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