Portal:Guinea-Bissau

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Introduction

Flag of Guinea-Bissau.svg

Guinea-Bissau (/ˈɡɪni bɪˈs/ (About this sound listen)), officially the Republic of Guinea-Bissau (Portuguese: República da Guiné-Bissau [ʁeˈpublikɐ dɐ ɡiˈnɛ biˈsaw]), is a sovereign state in West Africa. It covers 36,125 square kilometres (13,948 sq mi) with an estimated population of 1,815,698.

Guinea-Bissau was once part of the kingdom of Gabu, as well as part of the Mali Empire. Parts of this kingdom persisted until the 18th century, while a few others were under some rule by the Portuguese Empire since the 16th century. In the 19th century, it was colonized as Portuguese Guinea. Upon independence, declared in 1973 and recognised in 1974, the name of its capital, Bissau, was added to the country's name to prevent confusion with Guinea (formerly French Guinea). Guinea-Bissau has a history of political instability since independence, and no elected president has successfully served a full five-year term.

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People on the streets of Guinea-Bissau
A typical scene of people on the streets of Guinea-Bissau.

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Psittacus erithacus -perching on tray-8d.jpg

The African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) is a medium-sized parrot endemic to primary and secondary rainforest of West and Central Africa. Experts regard it as one of the most intelligent birds. They feed primarily on palm nuts, seeds, fruits, leafy matter, and have even been observed eating snails. Their overall gentle nature and their inclination and ability to mimic speech have made them popular pets. This has led many to be captured from the wild and sold into the pet trade. The African Grey Parrot is listed on CITES appendix II, which restricts trade of wild caught species, because wild populations can not sustain trapping for the pet trade.

Grey parrots depend on large old trees for the natural hollows they use for nesting. Studies in Guinea and Guinea-Bissau have found that the preferred species of nesting trees are also preferred timber species. There is a positive relationship between the status of the species and the status of primary forest: where the forests are declining, so too are populations of Grey parrots. (Read more...)

Selected biography

General Batista Tagme Na Waie, also transliterated as Batista Tagme Na Wai (1949 – March 1, 2009) was chief of staff of the army of Guinea-Bissau until his assassination in 2009.

Na Waie was born in Catió. A participant in the junta that overthrew João Bernardo Vieira in the 1990s and a veteran of the Guinea-Bissau War of Independence, Na Waie was a member of the Balanta ethnic group. He had been appointed chief of staff as the result of the October 2004 murder of his predecessor, Veríssimo Correia Seabra; IRIN has described him as a "consensus figure put forward by the military establishment which the government felt forced to accept".

A "bitter rival" of Vieira, both before the junta (having survived Vieira's purges of the Guinea-Bissau military in the 1980s) and after Vieira's return to power, Na Waie reported surviving an assassination attempt in January 2009, when a militia assigned to the presidential palace opened fire on his staff car; the militia denied that this had been an assassination attempt.

On March 1, 2009, Na Waie was killed by an explosion in the headquarters of the Guinea-Bissau military. While witnesses reported seeing a rocket-propelled grenade, aides to Na Waie reported that a bomb was detonated under a staircase as Na Waie was heading to his office.

(Read more...)

In the news

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Kathedrale von Bissau

The Portuguese church of Kathedrale von Bissau.

Did you know?

  • ...Of all localities on the Western African coast - where oil now is found in one country after the other - the geological formations off Guinea-Bissau have been denominated the most promising. Guinea-Bissau's offshore areas are considered under-explored as exploration efforts repeatedly have been interrupted by political crises.[1]

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