Guinea-Bissau

Cocaine trade on the wane in West African transit hub

Bissau  - The velvet-covered sofas of the X Club in Bissau were until recently part of the cocaine trail from South America to Europe.

It was in nightclubs like this, between bursts of hip-hop and "Gumbe" - the trademark music of Guinea Bissau - that deals were sealed and drugs mules recruited.

Such places helped earn Guinea-Bissau the label of narco-state, with cartels favouring the fragile West African nation for its political instability and geographical proximity to Europe and Colombia.

But the United Nations says fewer drugs are now flowing through the former Portuguese colony.

Ruling party candidate Sanha wins Guinea-Bissau election

Ruling party candidate Sanha wins Guinea-Bissau election Bissau, Guinea Bissau - Malam Bacai Sanha has won a presidential run-off election in Guinea Bissau to replace assassinated president Joao Bernardo Vieira, election officials said Wednesday.

Sanha, the candidate for the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), polled 63 per cent of the vote, beating his opponent Kumba Yala.

Observers hope that the election will bring stability to a country blighted by instability since independence from Portugal in 1974.

Guinea-Bissau prepares for presidential run-off

Guinea-Bissau prepares for presidential run-off Bissau, Guinea Bissau  - Voters in Guinea-Bissau were set to go to the polls on Sunday to choose a successor to assassinated president Joao Bernardo Vieira in a run-off presidential election.

Observers hope that the election in what has been dubbed a "narco- state" for its role as a hub for drugs trafficked from South America to Europe, will bring stability to a country blighted by instability since independence from Portugal in 1974.

Guinea-Bissau election goes to run-off

Bissau, Guinea Bissau  - Guinea-Bissau's election to replace assassinated president Joao Bernardo Vieira will go to a run-off between the two pre-election favourites, the West African nation's electoral commission said Thursday.

Observers hope that the election, dubbed a "narco-state" for its role as a hub for drugs trafficked from South America to Europe, will bring stability to a country blighted by instability since independence from Portugal in 1974.

The ruling party's Malam Bacai Sanha headed up the 11 candidates with 39.6 per cent of the vote, followed by opposition candidate Kumba Yala with 29.4 per cent.

The two men will go head-to-head in late July or early August, the commission said.

Guinea Bissau votes to replace assassinated president

Guinea Bissau votes to replace assassinated president Bissau, Guinea-Bissau  - Polls opened in Guinea-Bissau early Sunday to allow voters to chose a successor to assassinated President Joao Bernardo Vieira in an election observers hope will bring some stability to the country.

The tiny West African nation, dubbed a "narco-state" for its role as a hub for drugs trafficked from South America to Europe, has been blighted by instability since independence from Portugal in 1974.

ROUNDUP: Thousands of Guineans bid farewell to slain president

Thousands of Guineans bid farewell to slain president Lisbon  - Guinea-Bissau's interim President Raimundo Pereira praised slain president Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira as having represented "humanist values," condemning his killing as an "affront to the republic" at a state funeral for Vieira on Tuesday.

The 69-year-old president was shot dead in his home a week ago by soldiers angered by the killing of army chief Tagme Na Wai, Vieira's long-time rival, a few hours earlier. Tagme was buried over the week- end.

State funeral begins of Guinea-Bissau's slain president

State funeral begins of Guinea-Bissau's slain president Lisbon - The state funeral ceremony began Tuesday at Guinea-Bissau's parliament for slain president Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira, Portuguese media reported.

The 69-year-old president was shot dead in his home a week ago by soldiers angered by the killing of army chief Tagme Na Wai, Vieira's long-time rival, a few hours earlier. Tagme was buried over the week- end.

The room where Vieira's coffin lay-in-state was so crowded that some diplomats could not sit down.

No peacekeeping operation needed in Guinea-Bissau, Portugal says

PortugalLisbon - Portugal is excluding foreign military intervention in Guinea-Bissau, where the army and the civilian authorities have given the former colonial power assurances of their will to maintain peace, a senior official was Wednesday quoted as saying.

Portugal's Foreign Affairs Secretary of State Joao Gomes Cravinho spoke to the Portuguese news agency Lusa in Cape Verde after visiting Guinea-Bissau, the president of which Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira was shot dead on Monday.

Brazil: Lula condemns murder of Guinea-Bissau's president

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Sao Paulo  - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Monday condemned the murder of Guinea-Bissau President Joao Bernardo Vieira.

"We cannot remain quiet in the face of an attack against a budding democracy, which was just starting to be formed," the Brazilian leader said, after meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende in Sao Paulo.

Vieira was slain Monday by soldiers loyal to his Army chief, General Tagme Na Waie, who died in a bombing Sunday evening.

UN condemns murders of Guinea-Bissau president, army general

United NationsNew York  - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday strongly condemned the assassinations of Guinea-Bissau's President Joao Bernardo Vieira and his Army chief General Batista Tagme Na Waie.

The UN was preparing to provide further assistance to Guinea- Bissau to implement peace building projects and democratic reform following the recent successful legislative elections under the slain president. Vieira was slain Monday by soldiers loyal to General Wai, who died in a bombing Sunday evening.

US calls for end to violence in Guinea-Bissau

President Joao BernardoWashington  - The United States on Monday called for an end to the violence in the small West African country of Guinea-Bissau following the slaying of the nation's president.

"We call for a cessation of violence and the conduct of government under peaceful means and that the perpetrators of these crimes should be brought to justice," State Department deputy spokesman Gordon Duguid said.

Army soldiers apparently stormed President Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira's residence on Monday and shot him dead, reportedly blaming him for the death of Army chief General Tagme Na Wai in a bombing over the weekend.

Guinea Bissau army chief killed in attack on headquarters

Nairobi/Bissau, Guinea Bissau  - The head of the army of Guinea Bissau, General Batista Tagme Na Wai, was killed in an attack on the army headquarters in the capital Bissau, news reports said Monday.

At least five people were injured in the explosion on the compound which occurred late Sunday evening and destroyed part of the building, the BBC reported.

Army officers of the small West-African state then ordered two private radio stations to cease broadcasting in order to "protect the journalists."

Former ruling party wins crucial Guinea Bissau elections

Bissau, Guinea-Bissau  - Guinea Bissau's former ruling party the PAIGC has won a parliamentary majority in elections seen as crucial for bringing stability to the tiny West African nation, an election monitoring official said Friday.

Javier Gutierrez, spokesperson for the European Union election monitoring mission that observed last Sunday's polls, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that provisional results showed the PAIGC scooped 67 seats out of an possible 100.

The previous coalition government fell apart in August when the PAIGC (African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde), which had 45 seats in parliament, abandoned a national stability pact.

Guinea Bissua army chief arrested over coup plot

Bissau - Tiny West African nation Guinea Bissau has arrested the head of its navy after he allegedly telephoned senior officers and asked them to help overthrow President Joao Bernardo Vieira, reports said.

"We have foiled a coup attempt that was to have been carried out early on Thursday by a group of officers led by Rear Admiral Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto, head of the navy," the BBC reported army spokesman Col Arsenio Balde as telling reporters late Friday in Bissau.

Balde said that Na Tchuto, who is under house arrest, was turned in by senior army officers after he asked them to join the coup attempt.

Guinea Bissau is currently in the grip of political turmoil after President Vieira dissolved parliament earlier this week.




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