It was one of Guinea-Bissau's busiest roads, but the avenue leading to the home of ousted prime minister Carlos Gomes Junior is deserted as residents fearful of the junta that seized power in a coup stay away.
"Usually there are many cars on this road but people are now afraid to go out because of the soldiers," said Moustapha Gassama, a 25-year-old unemployed IT engineer.
"Guinea-Bissau soldiers have lost their heads. A young man who lives in this country has no chance" of succeeding, he added.
The junta seized power in a putsch Thursday and detained interim president Raimundo Pereira and Gomes Junior, the ruling party's candidate for a presidential election that was scheduled for April 29.
Ropes tied onto two trees block a stretch of the road leading to Gomes Junior's residence, preventing any passage in front of the house, while two soldiers were watching movements in the environs.
At another central district Chau de Pepel, Nfaly Keita, an unemployed plumber, said he "could not go out because of fear of the soldiers", even though the army is now only visible before public landmarks like the parliament.
Keita said he slept on the floor on the day of the coup to avoid any stray bullets.
"The explosions were loud. Since then, I don't go out anymore," added Keita, who was seated on two rickety chairs that were stacked on top of each other.
Close to him was a woman of about 50 years old, who refused any interview with a wave of her hand.
Like many Guinea-Bissau residents, she refused to divulge her identify "for security reasons".
"We never know with the soldiers," said a 68-year-old man, who insisted on remaining anonymous.
"I have lost all hopes of any developments in this country. The Guinea-Bissau army always has a guerrilla mindset. For them, power is always at the end of a rifle," he said.
"We need UN protection. In order to have a quality of life in this country, the United Nations must step in," he said.
The army plays a significant and often fatal role in politics in the putsch-prone country that gained independance in 1974 after a war against Portuguese colonisers.
The junta has undertaken several coups, halting the development of the country which has become a drug trafficking hub between South America and Europe.
At the Bissau market located on the road towards the airport, some businesses have resumed, although most shops remain padlocked.
"If only peace would return. I usually earn 4,000 to 6,000 CFA francs (six to nine euros/$8 to 12) a day but since the events, it has been difficult to even make 1,500 CFA francs," said Mamadou Dian Diallo, a young vendor of discounted belts.
He added that he was in a hurry to close shop early due to the 2130 to 0600 GMT overnight curfew.
Next to him, Sadio Gassama, a widow in her fifties, was busy picking out second hand clothes at a roadside stall were many old blue and yellow minibuses were zooming past, leaving behind clouds of black smoke.
"This coup is not good for Guinea-Bissau. People here don't have money, or anything to eat," she bemoaned.© ANP/AFP