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Guinea Bissau

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Guyana translates labour laws into Chinese
19 January 2013 - The South American country of Guyana has translated its labour laws into Chinese amid an influx of Asian companies and workers. Labour Minister Nanda Gopaul presented the translation to the nonprofit Chinese Association that serves the local community and said that should make employers more familiar with the laws. (more)

Guinea-Bissau junta says hands power back to civilians
22 May 2012 - Six weeks after it toppled the government and derailed elections, Guinea-Bissau's military junta said on Tuesday it was handing power back to the West African state's civilian leaders. This follows a deal between the self-styled Military Command and the regional bloc ECOWAS that put in place transitional president Manuel Sherifo Nhamadjo, installed a 600-strong ECOWAS force and promised new elections in 12 months. (more)

Peacebuilding efforts dominate talks between UN's Ban and Guinea-Bissau's Premier
29 September 2011 - The implementation of a peacebuilding plan and social and political reforms in Guinea-Bissau were at the centre of discussions between Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Prime Minister of the West African country, Carlos Gomes JĂșnior. Mr Ban acknowledged the efforts made by the Guinea-Bissau Government to implement the Priority Plan for Peacebuilding and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). (more)

Guinea-Bissau seen doubling cashew output to 300,000 tonnes
20 August 2011 - Guinea-Bissau, the world's seventh-biggest supplier of cashew nuts, is expected to double production this year to about 300,000 tonnes, authorities said on Friday. Cashews are the biggest revenue earner in the nation of 1.6 million people, and the industry employs 250,000 families, mostly through small-scale farming operations. (more)

Guinea-Bissau progresses on path towards stability
22 February 2011 - Guinea-Bissau is countering the effects of last year's unrest, and the United Nations is helping to promote security sector reform in a country that has been dogged by war, coups, and assassinations in recent years, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in his latest report. (more)

Guinea-Bissau economy seen growing at 3.5 per cent in 2010 - IMF
19 November 2009 - Guinea-Bissau's cashew nut-driven economy will grow at 3.5 per cent in 2010 but could touch 4 per cent if the global economy recovers and the nation finds some stability, the International Monetary Fund said. The economy grew at just under three percent in 2009 but could touch four per cent further down the line, Paulo Drummond, head of the IMF mission to Bissau said. (more)

Guinea-Bissau: Mine-free farms for the first time since 1974
12 October 2009 - As soon as sappers -- a military engineer who disarms mines -- started to declare sections of Suar and Bintam landmine- and unexploded ordnance-free, farmers moved back, planting cashew trees, millet, corn, and beans within the 'mine-free' markers. Guinea-Bissau has signed the Ottawa Mine Ban treaty and has pledged it will be mine-free by 2011. They need only an additional US$5.5 million to finish the project. (more)

Guinea-Bissau: Programme offers food to children in education drive
27 March 2008 - Aid programmes are attracting poor children to school by offering food, in the hope that proper nutrition and education will help them thrive. Some countries are learning to cultivate school gardens and use locally produced foods in their national school feeding programmes. (more)

Guinea-Bissau: Negotiations end to crisis
1 February 2007 - The United Nations secretary-general's representative in Guinea-Bissau, Shola Omoregie, has negotiated an end to a 17-day crisis involving the government and prominent politician Carlos Gomes Junior who had sought refuge in the UN building in Bissau. (more)

Guinea-Bissau: Eight-country summit issues pledge on poverty
19 July 2006 - A summit of eight Portuguese-speaking countries held in tiny, impoverished Guinea-Bissau wound up on Monday night with a series of pledges to wipe out poverty and hunger by 2015 in line with the Millennium Development Goals. (more)


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Guinea Bissau to become member state of the Global Country of World Peace
1 January 2006 - A delegation from the government of Guinea Bissau recently visited Maharishi European Research University (MERU), The Netherlands, to work on plans for the West African nation to become a member state of the Global Country of World Peace. (more)


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Guinea-Bissau's President Vaz sacks PM, dissolves government
12 May 2016 - Guinea-Bissau's President Jose Mario Vaz sacked Prime Minister Carlos Correia and dissolved his government on Thursday in a move that threatened to worsen political turmoil that has crippled the tiny West African nation. Guinea-Bissau is one of the region's most chronically unstable nations. The chaos has helped it become a major transit point for cocaine trafficked from South America to Europe. (more)

Guinea confirms fever is Ebola, has killed up to 59
23 March 2014 - Guinea has received confirmation that a mysterious disease that has killed up to 59 people in the West African country, and may have spread to neighbouring Sierra Leone, is the haemorrhagic fever Ebola, the government said on Saturday. Cases of the disease -- among the most virulent pathogens known to infect humans, with a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent -- have been registered in three southeastern towns and in the capital Conakry since 9 February. It has never before been recorded in Guinea. 'It is indeed Ebola fever. A laboratory in Lyon (France) confirmed the information,' Damantang Albert Camara told Reuters. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with infected animals including chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope, and porcupines, according to the WHO. The disease is most commonly found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, South Sudan, and Gabon. (more)

Guinea-Bissau still way behind on education
2 June 2013 - Guinea-Bissau's chronic political turmoil is depriving children of quality education. Access to education remains low, learning is often disrupted by teachers' strikes, and the country spends the lowest portion of its budget on education in West Africa. Since independence from Portugal in 1974, the small West African country has been jolted by a string of military coups and a deadly civil war (1998-99) which have undermined social and infrastructural development and made it one of the world's poorest states. The current interim government came into being after a coup in April 2012. In the three months after the military takeover, more than 90 percent of state primary and secondary schools were closed due to the absence of effective government, said Tomoko Shibuya, head of education programmes at the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Guinea-Bissau. 'Schools are in a deplorable state; there are no desks; roofs are in disrepair, and children cannot learn during the rainy season,' said Armando Correia Landim, head of the country's 10,000-strong parents' association. (more)

Guinea-Bissau turmoil sparks cocaine and cashew crisis - UN
29 November 2012 - Cocaine trafficking through drug hub Guinea Bissau is spreading unabated amid turmoil sparked by an April military coup that has slashed the West African country's key cashew crop and almost halved its economic growth, the United Nations said. The coup has set back Western efforts to combat drug cartels using Guinea Bissau, which has become a major transshipment point for Latin American cocaine headed to Europe. The United States and others have said army officials are implicated in the trade. This week, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report to the Security Council that weak law enforcement allowed organized crime groups to use Guinea Bissau unchallenged 'as a transit point for international drug trafficking.' 'This has led to the unabated spread of cocaine trafficking in Guinea Bissau,' Ban said. 'International intelligence suggests cocaine trafficking is taking place on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, without interference from government officials.' Guinea Bissau has been in turmoil since soldiers seized power, derailing a presidential election in the latest of a string of military interventions in the country's politics since independence from Portugal in 1974. (more)

Childbirth particularly perilous in Guinea-Bissau
14 July 2012 - Despite some progress, childbirth is still a perilous endeavor across sub-Saharan Africa, and Guinea-Bissau stands out for its dire statistics. A woman has a 1 in 19 chance of maternal death in this tiny country, compared to about 1 in 2,100 in the United States. Experts say women are increasingly heading to medical centres when things go awry. Lives here, though, come down to whether cell phone networks are working, whether tides will allow boats to set sail. How quickly women can get to hospitals on muddy, rutted paths lit only by the moon, and whether their families can buy the right medicine. Even then, it can sometimes be too late. At the hospital, too, it is touch-and-go. Generators only hum to life when a surgery is being performed. There is no power for refrigeration to store blood donations, and no electricity to run incubators for babies who have come too soon. (more)

Bissau military closes air, sea space with warning
16 April 2012 - Guinea-Bissau's military chiefs have closed the West African country's air and sea space and say all violations will be met with a 'military response', defying the mounting international criticism of last week's coup. The armed forces leadership has assumed control after soldiers arrested interim President Raimundo Pereira and former Prime Minister and presidential election front-runner Carlos Gomes Junior in an overnight putsch on Thursday. The military said it had formed a 'national transition council' with some of the country's political parties, although the main PAIGC party was not participating. A communique from the military chiefs, read to Reuters by a military source in Bissau on Monday, said flights and vessels would not be able to enter the country's air and sea space without prior authorisation. It cited 'national security' as the reason for the move. (more)

Bissau army hold President, former Premier in coup
13 April 2012 - Soldiers in Guinea-Bissau have detained the country's interim President and the former Prime Minister, cutting short an unfinished presidential election in West Africa's second military power grab in a month. A military spokesman confirmed the detentions of ex-premier and presidential election front-runner Carlos Gomes Junior and interim President Raimundo Pereira, following assaults by armed soldiers on their homes on Thursday evening. Diplomats said the putsch in Guinea-Bissau, initially claimed by a shadowy self-styled 'Military Command', appeared to be an attempt to prevent an election win by Gomes Junior, the candidate of the ruling PAIGC party. He had finished top in a first round vote last month, qualifying for a 29 April run-off. Gomes Junior was unpopular with the military because he supported an initiative to reform and downsize the bloated army, which has a history of bloody revolts and meddling in Guinea-Bissau politics since independence from Portugal in 1974. (more)

EU decides not to renew Guinea-Bissau mission
2 August 2010 - The European Union will not extend a mission to help reform Guinea-Bissau's security forces because the country has failed to respect the rule of law since an army mutiny in April, the EU said on Monday. The existing mission was launched in June 2008 to try and bring stability to a nation that has endured years of political turmoil and is now riddled with drug smugglers. It will end on 30 September when its mandate expires, the EU said. UN officials say the tiny country on the coast of West Africa has become a hub of the drug trade between Latin America and Europe. Billions of dollars worth of cocaine are believed to pass through the mostly poor, weak nations of the region. A number of political slayings last year, including that of Guinea-Bissau's President, army chief, and a presidential candidate, have been linked to the trade. Washington has named two senior Guinea-Bissau military officers as drug kingpins. (more)

Drugs return to Guinea-Bissau, destabilizing it
5 June 2010 - Drug trafficking has resumed heavily in the tiny West African nation of Guinea-Bissau, where the cocaine trade threatens to further destabilize a country reeling from the assassination of its President and a subsequent attempted coup, officials say. Scores of uninhabited islands serve as convenient depots for South American drugs that transit through the country each year on their way to Europe -- estimated in 2009 at more than $1 billion. That is a worrying phenomenon in a country where drug money only serves to embolden military officers who have long been in the habit of ousting elected leaders. The size of the cocaine trade dwarfs the country's gross domestic product -- less than $450 million in 2009, much from the legal export of cashews -- making it easy for traffickers to buy off officials and the military. (more)

Guinea-Bissau collapse deepens after leader killed
6 March 2009 - Since winning a violent struggle for independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has been on a losing streak -- cursed by coups, coup attempts, and war. Today it is ranked third-worst of 177 nations on the UN Human Development Index, which measures general well-being. One of the world's poorest countries, life expectancy is a mere 45. The apathy surrounding the slaying of President Joao Bernardo 'Nino' Vieira in his own home -- as well as the bombing attack that killed his main rival hours earlier -- symbolizes just how far the drug-wracked country has fallen. Less than 24 hours after the slayings market stalls were open, people were back in the streets and the city's dilapidated fleet of blue-and-white Mercedes taxis was again cruising the potholed roads, Caribbean rhythms pulsing from their radios. (more)

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