History of Guinea-Bissau

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Guinea-Bissau was dominated by Portugal from the 1450s to the 1970s; since independence in 1974, the country was controlled by a single-party system until 1991. Following the introduction of multi-party politics in 1991, the first multi-party elections were held in 1994.

European rule[edit]

Lesser coat of arms of Portuguese Guinea-Bissau

Struggle for independence[edit]

Portuguese-held (green), disputed (yellow) and rebel-held areas (red) in Portuguese-Guinea and other colonies 1970
Amílcar Cabral, with the flag of Guinea-Bissau on a stamp

Amílcar Cabral was assassinated in Conakry in 1973, and party leadership fell to Aristides Pereira, who later became the first president of the Republic of Cape Verde. The PAIGC National Assembly met at Boe in the southeastern region and declared the independence of Guinea-Bissau on 24 September 1973 and was recognized by a 93–7 UN General Assembly vote in November.[1]

Independence from Portugal[edit]

Following Portugal's April 1974 Carnation Revolution, it granted independence to Guinea-Bissau on 10 September 1974. Luís Cabral, Amílcar Cabral's half-brother, became President. In late 1980, the government was overthrown in a coup led by Prime Minister and former armed forces commander João Bernardo Vieira.[2][3]

The United States recognised Guinea Bissau's independence on 10 September 1974.[4]

Democracy[edit]

In 1994, 20 years after independence from Portugal, the country's first multiparty legislative and presidential elections were held. An army uprising that triggered the Guinea-Bissau Civil War in 1998, created hundreds of thousands of displaced persons. The president was ousted by a military junta on 7 May 1999. An interim government turned over power in February 2000 when opposition leader Kumba Ialá took office following two rounds of transparent presidential elections. Guinea-Bissau's transition back to democracy has been complicated by a crippled economy devastated by civil war and the military's predilection for governmental meddling.[citation needed]

Despite reports that there had been an influx of arms in the weeks leading up to the election and reports of some 'disturbances during campaigning' – including attacks on the presidential palace and the Interior Ministry by as-yet-unidentified gunmen – European monitors labelled the election as "calm and organized".[5]

In January 2000, the second round of a general election took place. The presidential election resulted in a victory for opposition leader Kumba Ialá of the Party for Social Renewal (PRS), who defeated Malam Bacai Sanhá of the ruling PAIGC. The PRS were also victorious in the National People's Assembly election, winning 38 of the 102 seats.

In September 2003, a military coup was conducted. The military arrested Ialá on the charge of being "unable to solve the problems".[6] After being delayed several times, legislative elections were held in March 2004. A mutiny of military factions in October 2004 resulted in the death of the head of the armed forces and caused widespread unrest.[citation needed]

In June 2005, presidential elections were held for the first time since the coup that deposed Ialá. Ialá returned as the candidate for the PRS, claiming to be the legitimate president of the country, but the election was won by former president João Bernardo Vieira, deposed in the 1999 coup. Vieira beat Malam Bacai Sanhá in a run-off election. Sanhá initially refused to concede, claiming that tampering and electoral fraud occurred in two constituencies including the capital, Bissau.[7]

Despite reports of arms entering the country prior to the election and some "disturbances during campaigning", including attacks on government offices by unidentified gunmen, foreign election monitors described the 2005 election overall as "calm and organized".[8]

Three years later, PAIGC won a strong parliamentary majority, with 67 of 100 seats, in the parliamentary election held in November 2008.[9] In November 2008, President Vieira's official residence was attacked by members of the armed forces, killing a guard but leaving the president unharmed.[10]

On 2 March 2009, however, Vieira was assassinated by what preliminary reports indicated to be a group of soldiers avenging the death of the head of joint chiefs of staff, General Batista Tagme Na Wai, who had been killed in an explosion the day before.[11] Vieira's death did not trigger widespread violence, but there were signs of turmoil in the country, according to the advocacy group Swisspeace.[12] Military leaders in the country pledged to respect the constitutional order of succession. National Assembly Speaker Raimundo Pereira was appointed as an interim president until a nationwide election on 28 June 2009.[13] It was won by Malam Bacai Sanhá of the PAIGC, against Kumba Ialá as the presidential candidate of the PRS.[14]

On 9 January 2012, President Sanhá died of complications from diabetes, and Pereira was again appointed as an interim president. On the evening of 12 April 2012, members of the country's military staged a coup d'état and arrested the interim president and a leading presidential candidate.[15] Former vice chief of staff, General Mamadu Ture Kuruma, assumed control of the country in the transitional period and started negotiations with opposition parties.[16][17]

José Mário Vaz was the President of Guinea-Bissau from 2014 until 2019 presidential elections. At the end of his term, Vaz became the first elected president to complete his five-year mandate. He lost the 2019 election, however, to Umaro Sissoco Embaló, who took office in February 2020. Embaló is the first president to be elected without the backing of the PAIGC.[18][19]

In February 2022, there was a failed coup attempt against President Umaro Sissoco Embaló. According to Embaló the coup attempt was linked to drug trafficking.[20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session -1 Resolution 3061. Illegal occupation by Portuguese military forces of certain sectors of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau and acts of aggression committed by them against the people of the Republic A/RES/3061(XXVIII) 2 November 1973. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
  2. ^ "GUINEA BISSAU- Coup and After". Economic and Political Weekly. 15 (52): 7–8. 5 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Obituary: Luís Cabral". the Guardian. 7 June 2009.
  4. ^ "A GUIDE TO THE UNITED STATES' HISTORY OF RECOGNITION, DIPLOMATIC, AND CONSULAR RELATIONS, BY COUNTRY, SINCE 1776: GUINEA-BISSAU". Office of the Historian. United States Department of State. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  5. ^ BBC News
  6. ^ Smith, Brian (27 September 2003) "US and UN give tacit backing to Guinea Bissau coup" Archived 27 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Wsws.org, September 2003. Retrieved 22 June 2013
  7. ^ GUINEA-BISSAU: Vieira officially declared president Archived 25 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine. irinnews.org (10 August 2005).
  8. ^ "Army man wins G Bissau election". BBC News. London. 28 July 2005. Archived from the original on 27 June 2006. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  9. ^ Guinea Bissau vote goes smooth amid hopes for stability. AFP via Google.com (16 November 2008). Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  10. ^ Balde, Assimo (24 November 2008). "Coup attempt fails in Guinea-Bissau". London: The Independent UK independent.co.uk. Archived from the original on 15 May 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  11. ^ "Soldiers kill fleeing President". Archived from the original on 8 March 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link). news.com.au (2 March 2009).
  12. ^ Elections, Guinea-Bissau (27 May 2009). "On the Radio Waves in Guinea-Bissau". swisspeace. Archived from the original on 8 December 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  13. ^ "Já foi escolhida a data para a realização das eleições presidenciais entecipadas". Bissaudigital.com. 1 April 2009. Archived from the original on 21 January 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  14. ^ Dabo, Alberto (29 July 2009). "Sanha wins Guinea-Bissau presidential election". Reuters. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  15. ^ "Tiny Guinea-Bissau becomes latest West African nation hit by coup". Bissau. 12 April 2012. Archived from the original on 13 April 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  16. ^ Embalo, Allen Yero (14 April 2012). "Fears grow for members of toppled G.Bissau government". Agence France-Presse. Archived from the original on 3 March 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2012.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  17. ^ "Guinea-Bissau opposition vows to reach deal with junta | Radio Netherlands Worldwide". Rnw.nl. 15 April 2012. Archived from the original on 12 October 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  18. ^ Tasamba, James (29 November 2019). "Guinea-Bissau's leader concedes election defeat". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  19. ^ "Guinea-Bissau: Former PM Embalo wins presidential election". BBC news. 1 January 2020. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  20. ^ "Guinea-Bissau: Many dead after coup attempt, president says". BBC News. 2 February 2022.

External links[edit]