Guinea-Bissau Can’t Fight Drug Trade Alone, Leader Says
By Dialogo September 26, 2012
Guinea-Bissau, a hub of international drug trafficking, is powerless to fight the narcotics trade alone, its interim president said on September 24, calling on the international community for help.
“Guinea-Bissau cannot face drug trafficking by itself,” said Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo, the country’s leader under a transition process negotiated after a coup on April 12.
“I call once more on the international community to come to the rescue, to stop this evil,” said Nhamadjo, in an address to mark the 38th anniversary of the country’s independence from Portugal.
Guinea-Bissau has long been considered a key platform for the trafficking of cocaine and other narcotics from South America to Europe. Some reports have implicated top military officers in the trade.
Since its independence in 1974, the coup-prone country’s army and state have remained in constant conflict. No president has ever completed a full term in office.
Nhamadjo, who attended a military parade to mark Independence Day, said his government was “not under the Army’s orders, either in form or substance”.
He also called on the international community to help organize the elections meant to restore constitutional rule after the latest coup, which erupted between the first and second rounds of a presidential election.
“I ask the international community to support Guinea-Bissau, which is going through a transition period that is going to end in less than a year in general elections for which we will need our partners’ support,” he said.
The European Union, Guinea-Bissau’s main development donor, suspended aid to the country after the coup, and some countries do not recognize the transitional authorities put in place under a deal brokered by mediators from the Economic Community of West African States.