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.
Fighting broke out between security forces aligned with rival political factions; President Embaló described incident as attempted coup.
Battle overnight 30 Nov-1 Dec erupted between National Guard and special forces in Bissau, leaving two dead. Tensions started to rise after Economy and Finance Minister Souleiman Seidi and Treasury Secretary Antonio Monteiro were detained 30 Nov over corruption allegations prompting National Guard, which reports to Interior Ministry aligned with Seidi’s African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), to free pair from police custody in capital Bissau. Fighting 1 Dec subsided by noon after army captured Seidi and Monteiro, as well as National Guard commander. President Embaló immediately called incident “attempted coup” and 4 Dec dissolved PAIGC-dominated parliament, requesting fresh elections without setting date. PAIGC leader and parliamentary speaker Domingos Simões Pereira same day labelled move unconstitutional, vowed to continue holding parliamentary sessions, and 8 Dec reported deputies were being blocked from accessing parliament. Security forces 13 Dec used tear gas to disperse group of PAIGC deputies and supporters attempting to enter parliament. Embaló 20 Dec sacked PM Geraldo Martins, later appointed new govt.
Bissau has [a] special property: many key events never get really clarified, nobody is too sure who killed who.
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.
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.
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.
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.
West-African state Guinea-Bissau, known for its chronic instability, went to the polls on Sunday 18 March 2012. Early figures from some polling stations in the capital Bissau showed former prime minister and ruling party candidate Carlos Gomes Junior far ahead. Now five candidates have called for the cancellation of the polls, due to “massive rigging”. Vincent Foucher, Crisis Group’s West Africa Senior Analyst, looks at current developments.
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.
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.
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.
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