The chief of staff of the army, general Verissimo Seabra, was killed by soldiers angry over delays in being paid for recent peacekeeping duty in Liberia. The troops then went on to stage a coup. General Seabra himself came to power via a coup last year. Before that, there was an unsuccessful coup in 2001. The country of 1.5 million has been independent (from Portugal) since 1974, but is hobbled by poverty and unstable government.