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CrisisWatch Guinea-Bissau

Deteriorated Situation

Murky attack on govt palace exposed fragility of President Sissoco Embaló’s seat and gave rise to competing narratives. Heavy gunfire 1 Feb broke out in capital Bissau near govt premises where Embaló and PM Nuno Nabiam were chairing cabinet meeting; Embaló hours later said govt forces had repelled attackers and declared situation under control; also suggested apparent “assassination attempt” aimed to end his fight against drug trafficking. Govt 2 Feb said 11 people killed in firefight, including four civilians; media reported seven security personnel, three civilians and one assailant killed; medical sources mentioned only eight killed. Embaló 10 Feb said three people previously detained by U.S. authorities on drug-trafficking charges were behind coup plot, including ex-Navy chief Bubo na Tchuto; also said all three had been arrested. Main opposition party African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cabo Verde (PAIGC) in following days expressed skepticism about president’s narrative, with party leader Domingos Simoes Pereira 3 Feb telling Deutsche Welle “such a coup would be an ideal pretext to intensify his purge of internal critics and opposition figures”; Prosecutor General’s Office 22 Feb barred Pereira from leaving country, citing legal cases against him. West Africa’s regional bloc, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), 1 Feb condemned “coup attempt” and 3 Feb said it will deploy stabilising force to country.

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Reports & Briefings

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Briefing / Africa

Guinea-Bissau: Elections, But Then What?

Guinea-Bissau’s elections are an important first step, but to address its economic and political fragility, the country needs strong international help, as well as political and military will for reform.

Also available in Français
Report / Africa

Beyond Turf Wars: Managing the Post-Coup Transition in Guinea-Bissau

International actors need to commit to a common strategy to help coup-plagued Guinea-Bissau implement the security, justice and electoral reforms it needs to escape its status as a link in drug trafficking to Europe.

Also available in Français
Podcast / Africa

Reform Prospects in Guinea-Bissau

The West African country Guinea-Bissau has been relatively stable since the political and military turmoil of 2010. But crucial political, military and judicial developments still lie ahead of this year's presidential elections. We talked to Vincent Foucher, Crisis Group's Senior Analyst for West Africa, about the future of Guinea-Bissau. 

Also available in Français
Report / Africa

Beyond Compromises: Reform Prospects In Guinea-Bissau

The ability of the Bissau-Guinean authorities to withstand the 26 December 2011 coup attempt bears witness to the improvements since the previous military turmoil of 1 April 2010, but crucial political, military and judicial developments still lie ahead as the country prepares for presidential elections in March and parliamentary polls later this year.

Also available in Français, Português, 简体中文 and other languages
Commentary / Africa

Guinée-Bissau: Surmonter les tensions entre civils et militaires

Vincent Foucher, analyste principal de Crisis Group pour la Guinée-Bissau, examine la situation politique actuelle du pays après le retour des militaires sur la scène politique en avril 2010, le rôle de l’Angola, et les mesures à envisager au niveau national et régional afin d’éviter un blocage.

Also available in Português