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Provides an overview as well as key facts, figures and dates for this west West Africa's Guinea-Bissau was part of the Portuguese Empire for. Guinea-Bissau has become a major hub of cocaine trafficking Aircraft not listed on any flight list land on unpaved airstrips dating back to the. Introduction:: Guinea-Bissau. Panel - Collapsed Geography:: Guinea-Bissau. Panel - Collapsed . People and Society:: Guinea-Bissau. Panel - Collapsed.
The capital city is still steaming from an early morning tropical shower, and the clouds towering over the wooden stands are slowly retreating. The truncheons of the National Guard are gleaming in the sun.
At precisely 10 a. There is no cheering, just some applause to be on the safe side -- the kind of accolades reserved for a military leader in a bulging uniform as he is slowly driven to the VIP stand on the back of a pick-up truck -- applause to acknowledge power.
The man in the uniform embodies power, not justice. All of this wouldn't matter much to the rest of the world if this hot and humid little African country merely supplied global markets with cashew nuts and timber -- instead of an estimated annual 40 metric tons of a substance that doesn't appear in any foreign trade statistics: General Indjai, who has now seated himself among the other generals, guests of honor and first ladies, also allegedly controls the country's drug trade.
Everyone stands at attention for the national anthem: The guerrillas from those days are now sitting in the stands -- veterans from an era in which the "fight for liberation" still had a good ring to it. Since the liberation, the country's elite has mainly been occupied with achieving some sort of balance between clans, political parties and military divisions -- a process that involves coups, arrests, torture, death threats and assassinations.
No democratically elected president in the history of independent Guinea-Bissau has ever completed his term in office. Under the old president, there was a cooperation agreement with the European Union to improve the security apparatus. But this program was terminated inquite possibly because a rear admiral who was appointed commander of the navy is listed by the US Drug Enforcement Administration DEAas a kingpin of the cocaine trade in West Africa -- along with the air force chief of staff.
The perpetrators were never found, and perhaps never sought. There is little doubt that the killings were linked to the struggle for lucrative shares of the country's burgeoning drug trade.
Drugs dominate political life in Guinea-Bissau, and the cocaine trade has made changes of government more brutal.
Guinea-Bissau country profile
In front of him lies a mind map, and above him hangs the gallery of his predecessors. When an aircraft from Dakar or Lisbon arrives in Bissau, three older civilians sit in what look like booths for parking lot attendants and stamp passengers' passports.
The aircraft had to make an emergency landing in Bissau on July 12, due to a faulty hydraulics system. The next day, a second, smaller aircraft arrived from Venezuela to repair the Gulfstream. This time, police were able to seize the machine. No trace of the cargo or the crew has ever been found. Such a jet can carry over 10 tons of cargo.
Waging War without Maps Biague is sitting in his office with the door locked and the shades drawn. Given his description of the situation, it's understandable that he would prefer not to set foot outside. Tomorrow is the ninth birthday of Biague's daughter. She lives in Verona in northern Italy -- and he hasn't seen her for five years.
But it has to be some kind of success. This archipelago of 88 islands in the Atlantic lies two hours from Bissau by boat.
Africa :: Guinea-Bissau — The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency
With its beaches lined with palm trees and waters teeming with fish, the Bissagos Islands could be the Maldives of West Africa. But, so far, they have only been a dream destination for drug lords. The state barely has a presence in the archipelago, in large part because Biague's police force doesn't own a boat. Aircraft not listed on any flight list land on unpaved airstrips dating back to the colonial period. Once, a plane ran into mechanical difficulties, and over half a ton of cocaine was dumped into the sea.
Some of the locals reportedly whitewashed their houses with the stuff. Others thought it was manioc flour. After being detained for two days, de Barros was released on the condition that he report to the authorities on a frequent, regular basis. Mendonca appeared to have been arrested for stating that the president should apologize to Gambian officials after accusing them of supporting rebels in Guinea-Bissau.
Questioned about his sources, Mendonca was released after 24 hours' detention. The World Association of Newspapers and the World Editors' Forum the latter a subgroup of the larger association, WANboth based in Paris, sent a letter to President Yala and denounced the arrests, reminding the president that the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees freedom of expression and calling on the government of Guinea-Bissau to stop harassing journalists.
De Barros restarted a private weekly of his that had been closed down five years earlier, Correio de Bissauin December ; de Barros and that paper have been no less successful in escaping the wrath of government censors in One of his stories, published in Junealleged the president's involvement with an array of top civil servants in misappropriating large sums of money from the public treasury.
Mendes and de Barros have been arrested repeatedly for their work. In January Bacar Tcherno Dole, a state radio journalist and reporter for No Pintchathe government newspaper, was arrested and mistreated for having mistakenly reported a violent incursion into the country's Sao Domingo region by rebels from Casamance in neighboring Senegal. Department of State stated that the journalist was "abused physically and intimidated by the military and police during his detention," based on an Amnesty International report.
State-Press Relations State-press relations are none too positive in Guinea-Bissau in the aftermath of the civil war of the mids. Government censorship of the media abounds, and state as well as private journalists, publishers, editors, and broadcasters must watch their words or risk government abuse.
Attitude toward Foreign Media Upon occasion, government mishandling of the press does not stop with the domestic media. Government officials accused him of misrepresenting the truth. Radio Mavegro, a private commercial station, includes programming from the British Broadcasting Corporation's World Service in its broadcasts.
However, in the Portuguese government established a television broadcasting station, RTP Africa, comprised of a network of local stations in all the states that were formerly Portuguese colonies.
The local managers are from the countries where the stations are situated, but the financing and studio equipment come from the Portuguese government. The national radio broadcasting station in Guinea-Bissau is Radio Nacional. In October Attorney General N'Tchama accused the latter two private and very popular radio stations of irregularly handling "their administrative and legal situation" and threatened to close them down. However, the two stations were allowed to continue to operate—because of their usefulness to the government in broadcasting news and also because of their great popularity, according to some local journalists.
Local community radio stations previously supported by non-governmental associations did not resume broadcasting in The government does not restrict access to the Internet, which is available in Guinea-Bissau. Summary Despite the fact that the country of Guinea-Bissau had a very promising past in terms of its economic and social development, the country today is rife with problems—economic, social, and political.
In consequence, members of the media frequently are threatened and harassed by government officials who appear to seek scapegoats to blame for the problems they have not yet solved and to which they have contributed.
Both state and private media professionals face problems in being irregularly or poorly paid, the state printing house frequently lacks necessary supplies that prevent the public and private press from publishing regularly, and government intimidation of journalists occurs fairly regularly.
Some journalists and editors are arrested repeatedly, targeted by the government for critiquing government behavior and for supposedly adding to real or perceived national security risks. With the greater involvement of international media associations and human rights organizations in monitoring the status of journalism and the treatment of fellow journalists, publishers, and editors, some hope exists that the media in Guinea-Bissau will see better times in the not-too-distant future.
With improved access to the Inter-net—rapidly growing throughout Africa—government officials may find it increasingly hard to harass those who practice the delicate art of informing their fellow citizens and the world at large of the ongoing problems and challenges in their societies.
Certainly the people of Guinea-Bissau will benefit from a more watchful eye by the international community of the welfare not only of media members but also of the general population. By continuing to exert influence on the shaping of public opinion regarding government policies and private practices, members of the press—both domestic and international—hopefully in the longer run will contribute to the general improvement of society and politics in Guinea-Bissau.
The crucial role of the international and domestic press in monitoring civil rights abuses, including those exacted upon media professionals as they carry out their daily work, cannot be overstressed. This is especially apparent in Guinea-Bissau, a country on the path toward national reconciliation but facing many hard challenges of leadership along the way. Significant Dates —Civil war.
Portuguese government establishes a television broadcasting station, RTP Africa, consisting of local stations from Portugal's former colonies, managed by local media staff. International peacekeeping force composed of West Africans monitors the country. Kumba Yala wins free presidential election. Amnesty International, May 28, British Broadcasting Corporation, July 5, Bureau of Public Affairs, U.
Department of State, March 4, Committee to Protect Journalists. World Association of Newspapers. Miemie Nov 24, 7: Kindest, Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: