Guinea Bissau. Conflicts within the ruling party Partido Africano da Independência Guiné e Cabo Verde (PAIGC) caused the party congress to start only in May, almost a year late. At the congress, President João Bernardo Vieira strengthened his position of power.
In January, several officers were arrested for smuggling weapons into the MFDC guerrilla in Casamance in southern Senegal. As a result, Commander Ansumane Mané was dismissed on June 6. Mané and soldiers loyal to him then revolted against the government and the country ended in civil war. Mané claimed that a report to be presented to Parliament in June would have released him from the charges and instead would show that the president himself was involved.
According to Countryaah, the capital of Guinea-Bissau is Bissau. The rebels quickly took control of the airport and a military base near Bissau. Within the army there was a long time dissatisfaction with the regime, and more and more soldiers joined the rebels. According to some data, only 10% of the army was loyal to the president. After just under 48 hours, Vieira asked Senegal and Guinea to intervene. More than 2,000 foreign soldiers, most of them from Senegal, joined the government. The president’s decision to bring in foreign soldiers was also strongly criticized within his own ranks.
Hard fighting continued for two months and most of the capital’s 250,000 residents fled and the 2,000 foreigners in the country were evacuated. A ceasefire was announced on July 26, and a month later, a peace agreement was concluded, which, however, did not come to fruition. The Portuguese-speaking countries’ organization CPLP and the West African cooperation organization ECOWAS continued their mediation efforts.
- Abbreviationfinder: What does GNB stand for in geography? Here, this 3 letter acronym refers to the country of Guinea-Bissau.
Struggles broke out again in October, but on November 1, the parties signed a peace treaty stating that both sides would lay down their weapons and that foreign troops would leave the country. It was decided that the presidential and parliamentary elections should be held by March 1999 at the latest.