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Guinea-Bissau Flag 

Guinea-Bissau Country Profile

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Guinea-Bissau at a Glance

Location:Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Senegal
Climate:tropical; generally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds
Terrain:mostly low coastal plain rising to savanna in east
Resources:fish, timber, phosphates, bauxite, clay, granite, limestone, unexploited deposits of petroleum
Hazards:hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season; brush fires
Population:1,533,964 (July 2009 est.)




A Brief Profile of Guinea-Bissau

Since independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has experienced considerable political and military upheaval. In 1980, a military coup established authoritarian dictator Joao Bernardo 'Nino' VIEIRA as president. Despite setting a path to a market economy and multiparty system, VIEIRA's regime was characterized by the suppression of political opposition and the purging of political rivals. Several coup attempts through the 1980s and early 1990s failed to unseat him. In 1994 VIEIRA was elected president in the country's first free elections. A military mutiny and resulting civil war in 1998 eventually led to VIEIRA's ouster in May 1999. In February 2000, a transitional government turned over power to opposition leader Kumba YALA, after he was elected president in transparent polling. In September 2003, after only three years in office, YALA was ousted by the military in a bloodless coup, and businessman Henrique ROSA was sworn in as interim president. In 2005, former President VIEIRA was re-elected president pledging to pursue economic development and national reconciliation. He was assassinated in March 2009; new elections are to take place in June 2009.






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