Late President's Body Flown Back To Guinea-Bissau

Published January 14, 2012 5:36PM (EST)

BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau (AP) — The body of Guinea-Bissau's late President Malam Bacai Sanha has been flown back from Paris to the this tiny, coup-prone nation a day before the funeral.

Thousands gathered in the streets of Bissau on Saturday to honor the late president. Sanha, who was elected president about two years ago after the previous leader was assassinated, had died in Paris on Jan. 9 after a lengthy hospitalization.

No immediate cause was given for his death, but the 64-year-old president was known to have diabetes and had undergone medical treatment in both France and neighboring Senegal during his time in office.

Officials had declared seven days of mourning. They did not say when elections might be held.

Since independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has been wracked by coups and has become one of the main transit points for drug traffickers ferrying cocaine to Europe.

By Salon Staff

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