Political Instability Impedes Livelihoods in Guinea-Bissau

As negotiation towards finding an inclusive sustainable solution to Guinea Bissau’s turmoil continues, the current political crisis impedes livelihoods of the majority of the population.

According to a UN envoy, the political instability has worsened the living conditions of its citizens.

“As a result of the political crisis, the payment of civil servants’ salaries has been delayed, in the absence of a Government, and the cashew trading season, crucial to the economy and livelihood of the population, has been disrupted.” -Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the West African country Joseph Mutaboba

Agshin Mehdiyev (left), Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the UN and President of the Security Council for May, chairs the Council’s meeting on GuineaBissau, where a military coup d’etat took place almost one month ago, on 12 April. UN Photo

April this year, the small country of Guinea-Bissau has plunged into crisis as military coup took control of radio and television stations. The military violence took place just weeks before a runoff presidential election scheduled at the end of April.

Mr. Mutaboba stresses that the continued delay in the return to normalcy is negatively impacting innocent citizens who want to see a speedy resolution to the crisis.

Mr. Mutaboba also emphasized that a sustainable solution must be one that is inclusive of all national stakeholders, given the divisions between political and military groupings in Guinea-Bissau.

In addition, the envoy underlined the importance of the mediation process led by the Economic Community of West African States, and called on the international community to unite in its engagement with Guinea-Bissau.

On December 2011, media reports indicated that Guinea-Bissau’s navy commander has been arrested after disturbances erupted, which some of the country’s senior officials described as a coup attempt.

Army chief Antonio Indjai said authorities had arrested navy chief Natchuto Bubo for attempting to sieze power, while the ill leader of coup-prone West African country underwent medical treatment abroad.

In the years that followed, the country was plagued by coups, coup attempts and, in 2009, the assassination of then president Joao Bernardo Vieira.

March this year, citizens of Guinea-Bissau went to elect a new president.

The coup-prone country’s election took place two months after the death of President Malam Bacai Sanha, who died following a prolonged illness.

Violence has marked the country’s history since it fought for, and ultimately won, independence from Portugal in 1974. Prominent rivalries between military and political leaders have sparked repeated coups and attempted coups, and a civil war in the late 1990s.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.