See also:
» 14.08.2008 - ECOWAS mission to study Bissau crisis
» 26.06.2008 - Bissau asked to sustain drug combat
» 22.02.2008 - UN supports Bissau recovery
» 31.10.2006 - Spain, Guinea-Bissau sign migration treaty
» 05.10.2006 - Spain gives anti-migration aid to Guinea-Bissau
» 28.09.2006 - Migration produces EU deal for Mali; Bissau next
» 01.02.2006 - Alarm at rise in Guinea-Bissau drug trafficking
» 15.06.2005 - Guinea-Bissau prepares for its great chance

China wholesale online through

Houlihan's coupons

Finn autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden på
Gazpacho Børek Kartoffelsalat Taboulé Gulasj Albóndigas Cevapi Rougaille Japrak sarma Zwiebelbrot Klopse Giouvetsi Paella Pljeskavica Pica pau Pulpo a la gallega Flammkuchen Langosj Tapenade Chatsjapuri Pasulj Lassi Kartoffelpuffer Tortilla Raznjici Knödel Lentejas Bœuf bourguignon Korianderchutney Brenneslesuppe Proia Sæbsi kavurma Sardinske calamares

Autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden finner du på
Réunion Portugal Aserbajdsjan Serbia Tyskland Seychellene Bosnia Spania Libanon Belgia India Kroatia Hellas Italia Ungarn Komorene Georgia Mauritius Østerrike Romania Frankrike

Guinea-Bissau | Senegal

"Senegal again tries to colonise Guinea-Bissau"

afrol News / A Semana, 30 May - As Senegal is forwarding its candidacy to a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, it is making a new attempt to increase its regional power base. Again, according to the Portuguese speaking press, Senegal is trying to "transform Guinea-Bissau into some sort of subsidiary country" in competition with Guinea-Conakry.

Already while Guinea-Bissau was fighting for its independence from Portugal, in 1972, Senegal's founding President Leopold Sédar Senghor wanted to control the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGCV) and its legendary leader Amílcar Cabral, according to Jorge Heitor, the correspondent of Cape Verde's independent newspaper 'A Semana' in Bissau.

The same situation repeated in 1998, as Senegal's second President, Abdou Diouf, had the intention of making Bissau-Guinean President João Bernardo "Nino" Vieira his "Vice-King" in the southern neighbour state. President Vieira resisted and shortly after was toppled in a military coup, which since that has left Guinea-Bissau in a political and economic chaos.

Now, according to analyst Heitor, Senegal's current President Abdoulaye Wade is trying to use Bissau-Guinean presidential candidate Kumba Yala in the same way. Mr Yala, who held the Bissau-Guinean presidency from 2000 until he was toppled in September 2003, was considered a firm ally to the Dakar government and Senegal is now one of very the few countries positive about his possible return to power in the upcoming elections.

- Senegal personalises the dream of a French speaking West Africa and is the African backyard of Paris, writes Mr Heitor. "Therefore, it does not want to accept the equilibrated debate between 17 candidates in Guinea-Bissau on whom is to fill the presidency of the republic," he adds.

In the small ex-colony of Portugal, where the illiteracy rate still is very high - not even 47 percent of the population knows how to read or write a minimum of the official language, Portuguese - Dakar reckons it can continue to exert its influence.

The same, according to Mr Heitor, happens in Senegal's poor southern Casamance province, a region that strongly desires autonomy from Dakar. Important sectors of Guinea-Bissau's political and military leadership during the last decades are known to have supported the armed struggle for independence or autonomy of the Casamance region. During Mr Yala's presidency, however, this support was limited.

According to Mr Heitor, the day that the two neighbours Senegal and Guinea (Conakry) "stop interfering in events in Bissau, the Bissau-Guinean population would be happier and stop living at such high tension."

In particular Senegal's strong support for Mr Yala's presidential candidacy has caused frustrations in Guinea-Bissau and its sister nation, Cape Verde. Mr Yala is seen as a dangerous promoter of tribalism and is generally held responsible for Guinea-Bissau's failed attempts to stabilise its political and economic environment, causing potential donors to shy away from the extremely poor country.

The current government of Guinea-Bissau - which enjoys international support for its transition process towards democracy - also is sceptical about the Senegalese President's role, who is also the African Union's mediator for Guinea-Bissau. State officials have denounced President Wade's "complicity" with Mr Yala, saying it is destabilising the country's democratisation process.

What is necessary for today's Guinea-Bissau, holds Mr Heitor, is exactly what freedom fighter Amílcar Cabral prescribed 33 years ago; that Bissau-Guineans should not divide according to ethnic lines. Mr Yala's attempt to secure votes among the majority Balanta people with Senegalese support therefore was a dangerous development.

The solution, according to the Cape Verdean analyst, lies in allied Portuguese speaking countries. "Portugal and Brazil should make an effort to teach the Portuguese language to much more than 50 percent of the Bissau-Guinean population," writes Mr Heitor. In that way, he adds, the country would be "free from the influence sought by internal strongmen and opportunistic neighbours."

Guinea-Bissau will elect its new President on 19 June, with the likely possibility of a second round in July. Among the favourites to win the poll are the two ex-President Yala and "Nino" Vieira. During his presidency, Mr Vieira kept a larger distance to Senegal than Mr Yala and the Casamance independence movement enjoyed an easier access to Bissau-Guinean territory.

- Create an e-mail alert for Guinea-Bissau news
- Create an e-mail alert for Senegal news
- Create an e-mail alert for Politics news

    Printable version

On the Afrol News front page now

Rwanda succeeds including citizens in formal financial sector

afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.

Famine warning: "South Sudan is imploding"

afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
Panic in West Africa after Ebola outbreak in Guinea

afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
Ethiopia tightens its already strict anti-gay laws

afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
Ethiopia plans Africa's biggest dam

afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.

front page | news | countries | archive | currencies | news alerts login | about afrol News | contact | advertise | español 

©  afrol News. Reproducing or buying afrol News' articles.

   You can contact us at