Authorities issued international arrest warrant against opposition leader and intercommunal violence broke out near capital Bissau. Attorney General’s Office 18 Dec said it had issued international arrest warrant against runner-up in 2019 presidential election and leader of main opposition African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), Domingos Simões Pereira, without elaborating on charges against him; Pereira, who went into exile in Portugal in early 2020, had early Dec announced his intention to resume political activity in Guinea-Bissau. UN mission Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) ended 31 Dec; UNIOGBIS Head Rosine Sori-Coulibaly mid-Dec said UN would continue to guarantee safety of former PM Aristides Gomes, who took refuge in UN mission headquarters in early 2020. Meanwhile, President Embaló 16 Dec threatened to dissolve National Assembly and call for early legislative elections, due to boycott by PAIGC deputies of parliamentary session on 2021 budget. Intercommunal violence erupted near Bissau: ethnic Yunkun and Thun communities 29 Dec clashed over land dispute in Nhoma town, 25km north of Bissau, leaving at least four dead and several wounded.
A legitimate civilian government, economic improvement and an army that has lost credibility are an opportunity for Guinea-Bissau. Regional and international partners meeting in Brussels on 25 March should commit to finance security sector reform to help the small state move beyond its history of military coups.
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.
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.
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.
The killing of at least 160 participants in a peaceful demonstration, the rape of many women protestors, and the arrest of political leaders by security forces in Conakry on 28 September 2009 showed starkly the dangers that continued military rule poses to Guinea’s stability and to a region where three fragile countries are only just recovering from civil wars.
The assassinations of the chief of defence staff, General Batista Tagme Na Wai, on 1 March 2009 and President Joao Bernardo Nino Vieira early the next day have plunged Guinea-Bissau into deep uncertainty. National Assembly Speaker Raimundo Pereira was quickly sworn in as interim president pending the election the constitution requires.
On 12 April 2012 a military uprising ousted former prime minister Carlos Gomes Júnior just as he was about to compete in a run-off presidential election that he was poised to win. Gabriela Keseberg Dávalos, Crisis Group's Senior Communications Officer, and Vincent Foucher, West Africa Senior Analyst, were in Bissau to examine the current situation in the country, the reasons for the overthrow and the priorities of the new transitional government.
On 12 April 2012, a military uprising ousted former prime minister Carlos Gomes Júnior just as he was about to compete in a run-off presidential election that he was poised to win. Crisis Group's Gabriela Keseberg Dávalos, Senior Communications Officer, and Vincent Foucher, West Africa Senior Analyst, were in Bissau to examine the current situation in the country.