• Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Portugal was the major power in the area throughout the colonial period. In 1974, after the Portuguese revolution, Portugal abandoned the struggle to keep Guinea-Bissau and independence was formally recognized on 10 Sept. 1974. In 1975 Cape Verde also became independent but the two countries remained separate sovereign states. On 14 Nov. 1980 a coup d’état was in part inspired by resentment in Guinea-Bissau over the privileges enjoyed by Cape Verdians. Guineans obtained a more prominent role under the new government. On 16 May 1984 a new constitution was approved based on Marxist principles but after 1986 there was a return to private enterprise in an attempt to solve critical economic problems and to lift the country out of poverty. A year-long civil war broke out in 1998 between army rebels and the country’s long-time ruler. Neighbouring Senegal and Guinea sent troops in to aid the government. On 7 May 1999 President João Bernardo Vieira was ousted in a military coup led by former chief of staff Gen. Ansumane Mané, whom the president had dismissed in 1998. Following the coup Mané briefly headed a military junta before National Assembly speaker Malam Bacai Sanhá took power as acting president.


Presidential Election Military Coup Acting President Social Renewal Military Junta 
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Further Reading

  1. Forrest, J. A., Guinea-Bissau: Power, Conflict and Renewal in a West African Nation. Boulder (CO), 1992Google Scholar
  2. Galli, Rosemary, Guinea-Bissau. [Bibliography] ABC-Clio, Oxford and Santa Barbara (CA), 1990Google Scholar
  3. National Statistical Office: Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Censos (INEC), CP 06 Bissau.Google Scholar
  4. Website (Portuguese only):

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

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