Geography of Guinea-Bissau
This article describes the geography of Guinea-Bissau. The terrain of Guinea-Bissau is mostly low coastal plain with swamps of Guinean mangroves rising to Guinean forest-savanna mosaic in the east, the lowest point on Guinea-Bissau is at sea level at the Atlantic Ocean. The highest point on Guinea-Bissau is 300 metres above sea level at a location in the northeast corner of the country. Natural resources found in Guinea-Bissau include fish, phosphates, clay, limestone,10. 67% of the land is arable and 235.6 square kilometres is irrigated. Natural hazards include a hot, dusty harmattan haze that may reduce visibility during the dry season, severe environmental issues include deforestation, soil erosion and overfishing. Near the Senegal border there have been sightings of the painted hunting dog, Lycaon pictus. This means it is hot and humid. It has a rainy season with southwesterly winds and a dry season with northeasterly harmattan winds. Guinea-Bissau is warm all year around and there is little temperature fluctuation, the average rainfall for the capital city Bissau is 2,024 millimetres although this is almost entirely accounted for during the rainy season which falls between June and September/October.
Painted Hunting Dog, Lycaon pictus, GlobalTwitcher. com, ed. N. Stromberg U. S
National People's Assembly (Guinea-Bissau)
The unicameral National Peoples Assembly is Guinea-Bissaus legislative body. The current National Peoples Assembly, formed following elections held on 28 March 2004, has a total of 102 seats,100 members are elected through a system of party-list proportional representation. The remaining two seats are reserved for Guinea-Bissau citizens living overseas, but they were not filled in the most recent election, political party distribution in the current National Peoples Assembly is as follows, Fourteen women occupy seats in the National Peoples Assembly. Cipriano Cassamá is the president of the assembly, history of Guinea-Bissau Politics of Guinea-Bissau List of Presidents of the National Peoples Assembly of Guinea-Bissau Official website
Guinea-Bissau War of Independence
The Guinea-Bissau War of Independence was an armed Independence conflict that took place in Portuguese Guinea between 1963 and 1974. The war ended when Portugal, after the Carnation Revolution of 1974, granted independence to Guinea-Bissau, the interior was however not fully controlled by the Portuguese until the latter half of 19th century. Sporadic fighting continued during the early 20th century and the Bijagós Islands were not pacified under Portuguese rule until 1936, the Portuguese Guinea was dependent from the government of Cape Verde until 1887, when it gained the status of a separate overseas province of Portugal. In 1892, it received the status of district, becoming again a province in 1896. In the beginning of the 20th century, the Portuguese Guinea started to be referred to as colony, with the effectiveness of the Portuguese Colonial Act of 1930, the designation colony fully replaced that of province. In 1952, by an amendment, Portuguese Guinea became again referred as an overseas province.
The first major activity of the PAIGC was a strike by dock-workers in Bissau on August 3,1959, the colonial police violently repressed the strike and more than 50 people died, the incident became known as the Pijiguiti Massacre. The massacre led to an upswing of popular support for the PAIGC. By 1960, it was decided to move headquarters to Conakry in neighboring Republic of Guinea in order to prepare for an armed struggle, the main goal of the organization was cooperation of the different national liberation movement in Portuguese colonies. The war in Guinea has been termed Portugals Vietnam, open hostilities broke out in January 1963 when guerrillas from the PAIGC attacked the Portuguese garrison in Tite, near the Corubal River, south of Bissau, the capital of Portuguese Guinea. Similar guerrilla actions quickly spread across the colony, mainly in the south, by this time, the PAIGC, led by Amílcar Cabral, began openly receiving military support from the Soviet Union and Cuba. Unlike Portugals other African territories, successful small-unit Portuguese counterinsurgency tactics were slow to evolve in Guinea and they were demoralized by the steady growth of PAIGC liberation sympathizers and recruits among the rural population.
In a relatively short time, the PAIGC had succeeded in reducing Portuguese military, by 1967 the PAIGC had carried out 147 attacks on Portuguese barracks and army encampments, and effectively controlled 2/3 of Portuguese Guinea. The next year, Portugal began a new campaign against the guerrillas with the arrival of the new governor of the colony, General António de Spínola. General Spínola instituted a series of civil and military reforms, intended to first contain, back the PAIGC. Two special indigenous African counterinsurgency detachments were formed by the Portuguese Armed Forces, the first of these was the African Commandos, consisting of a battalion of commandos composed entirely of black soldiers. The second was the African Special Marines, Marine units entirely composed of black soldiers, military tactical reforms by Portuguese commanders included new naval amphibious operations to overcome some of the mobility problems inherent in the underdeveloped and marshy areas of the country.
These new operations utilized Destacamentos de Fuzileiros Especiais as strike forces, between 1968 and 1972, the Portuguese forces increased their offensive posture, in the form of raids into PAIGC-controlled territory
Economy of Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau is among the worlds least developed nations and one of the 10 poorest countries in the world, and depends mainly on agriculture and fishing. Cashew crops have increased remarkably in recent years, and the country now ranks sixth in cashew production, Guinea-Bissau exports non-fillet frozen fish and seafood, palm kernels, and timber. License fees for fishing provide the government with some revenue, rice is the major crop and staple food. From a European viewpoint, the history of the Guinea Coast is largely associated with slavery. Indeed, one of the names for the region was the Slave Coast. When the Portuguese first sailed down the Atlantic coast of Africa in the 1430s, ever since Mansa Musa, king of the Mali Empire, made his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1325, with 500 slaves and 100 camels the region had become synonymous with such wealth. The trade from sub-Saharan Africa was controlled by the Islamic Empire which stretched along Africas northern coast, Muslim trade routes across the Sahara, which had existed for centuries, involved salt, textiles, fish and slaves.
As the Portuguese extended their influence around the coast, Mauritania and Guinea, rather than becoming direct competitors to the Muslim merchants, the expanding market opportunities in Europe and the Mediterranean resulted in increased trade across the Sahara. In addition, the Portuguese merchants gained access to the interior via the Sénégal, the Portuguese brought in copper ware, tools and horses. Trade goods soon included arms and ammunition, in exchange, the Portuguese received gold and ivory. There was a small market for African slaves as domestic workers in Europe. The Portuguese found they could make considerable amounts of gold transporting slaves from one trading post to another, Muslim merchants had a high demand for slaves, which were used as porters on the trans-Saharan routes, and for sale in the Islamic Empire. The Portuguese found Muslim merchants entrenched along the African coast as far as the Bight of Benin, before the arrival of the Europeans, the African slave trade, centuries old in Africa, was not yet the major feature of the coastal economy of Guinea.
The expansion of trade occurs after the Portuguese reach this region in 1446, the Portuguese used slave labour to colonize and develop the previously uninhabited Cape Verde islands where they founded settlements and grew cotton and indigo. They traded these goods, in the estuary of the Geba River, for slaves captured by other black peoples in local African wars. The slaves were sold in Europe and, from the 16th century, the Company of Guinea was a Portuguese governative institution whose task was to deal with the spices and to fix the prices of the goods. It was called Casa da Guiné, Casa da Guiné e Mina from 1482 to 1483, the Portuguese presence in Guinea was therefore largely limited to the port of Bissau. As with the other Portuguese territories in mainland Africa, Portugal exercised control over the areas of Portuguese Guinea when first laying claim to the whole region as a colony
Demographics of Guinea-Bissau
The population of Guinea-Bissau is ethnically diverse with distinct languages and social structures. Most of the rest are mestiços of mixed Portuguese and black descent, due to the exodus of most Portuguese settlers after independence, less than 1% of Guinea-Bissauans are pure Portuguese. The country has a Chinese minority, including Macanese people of mixed Portuguese and Chinese blood from Macau, 50% are Muslims - this makes Guinea-Bissau the only Portuguese-speaking nation with a Muslim majority and most Muslims are Sunnis. 40% are pagans, principally the Balanta, less than 10% are Christians, mostly Roman Catholics. According to the 2010 revision of the UN World Population Prospects, Guinea-Bissaus population was 1,515,000 in 2010, compared to 518,000 in 1950. The proportion of the population below the age of 15 in 2010 was 41. 3%,55. 4% were aged between 15 and 65 years of age, while 3. 3% were aged 65 years or older, registration of vital events is in Guinea-Bissau not complete. The Population Departement of the United Nations prepared the following estimates, the following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated
History of Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau was dominated by Portugal from the 1450s to the 1970s, since independence, the country has been primarily controlled by a single-party system. The rivers of Guinea and the islands of Cape Verde were among the first areas in Africa explored by the Portuguese, Portugal claimed Portuguese Guinea in 1446, but few trading posts were established before 1600. With the cooperation of local tribes, the Portuguese entered the slave trade. Amílcar Cabral was assassinated in Conakry in 1973, and party leadership fell to Aristides Pereira, following Portugals April 1974 Carnation Revolution, it granted independence to Guinea-Bissau on 10 September 1974. Luís Cabral, Amílcar Cabrals half-brother, became President of Guinea-Bissau, following independence local soldiers that fought along with the Portuguese Army against the PAIGC guerrillas were slaughtered by the thousands. A small number escaped to Portugal or to other African nations, the most famous massacre occurred in Bissorã. In 1980 PAIGC admitted in its newspaper Nó Pintcha that many were executed and buried in unmarked graves in the woods of Cumerá, Portogole.
In late 1980, the government was overthrown in a bloodless coup led by Prime Minister and former armed forces commander João Bernardo Vieira. The United States recognised Guinea Bissaus independence on 10 September 1974, from November 1980 to May 1984, power was held by a provisional government responsible to a Revolutionary Council headed by President João Bernardo Vieira. In 1984, the council was dissolved, and the National Popular Assembly was reconstituted, the single-party assembly approved a new constitution, elected President Vieira to a new 5-year term, and elected a Council of State, which was the executive agent of the ANP. Under this system, the president presides over the Council of State and serves as head of state, the president was head of the PAIGC and commander in chief of the armed forces. In 1994,20 years after independence from Portugal, the countrys first multiparty legislative, an army uprising that triggered the Guinea-Bissau Civil War in 1998, created hundreds of thousands of displaced persons.
The president was ousted by a junta on 7 May 1999. An interim government turned over power in February 2000 when opposition leader Kumba Ialá took office following two rounds of transparent presidential elections, guinea-Bissaus transition back to democracy has been complicated by a crippled economy devastated by civil war and the militarys predilection for governmental meddling. Politics of Guinea-Bissau United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau Background Note, Guinea-Bissau