Hundreds protest to demand resignation of Guinea Bissau’s government

WEST AFRICA –-More than 2,000 opposition protesters gathered last week Friday to call for the immediate resignation of Guinea-Bissau’s government, barely a year after the country’s failed mediation process that sought to end a never-ending political crisis.

According to reliable sources, talks mediated by neighboring Guinean President Alpha Conde in October 2016 was aimed at naming a new prime minister, and putting together an “inclusive” government and reintegrating the lawmakers into the PAIGC, but all that seems to be failing.

Guinea Bissau, a small West African state has been consumed with a power struggle and political instability since August 2015, when President Jose Mario Vaz dismissed then prime minister Domingos Simoes Pereira.

Pereira, who was part of the demonstration, is the leader of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC).

“This meeting is just the beginning of a series of actions that we are undertaking. We are just warming up,” said Pereira, hoping that the military, civil society, and religious groups would join future protests he intends to lead.

Globe Afrique learned that a new prime minister, Umaro Sissoko Embalo, was sworn in last December but the majority of the PAIGC rejected him, accusing Vaz of breaching an agreement that calls for a consensual choice of prime minister.

In a statement, the country’s Interior Ministry has warned that “any action endangering peace, stability and public order will not be tolerated.”

Historically, Guinea-Bissau has been inundated by instability and military coups since its independence from Portugal in 1974.

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Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.
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