A bloody coup has ended the presidency of João Bernardo Vieira.
The International Herald Tribune adds this point:
Guinea Bissau is one of Africa’s poorest countries. Its main export crop is cashew nuts, but drug money has flowed to corrupt officials as smugglers pay bribes to use the country’s coastline and remote airstrips for cocaine trans-shipments.
Before the latest unrest, the International Crisis Group, a think tank based in Brussels, said that, “since emerging from Portuguese colonial rule in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has experienced a recurrent cycle of political crises and coups d’etat, while criminal networks have proliferated.”
“In the absence of effective state and security structures, the country has become a prime transit point for drug trafficking from Latin America to Europe and there remains a real risk of it becoming Africa’s first narco-state,” the group said on its Web site.
The AP adds this:
In recent years, Guinea- has become a key transit point for South American cocaine. The drugs are flown from in small planes and then parceled out to dozens of drug mules that carry them north to Europe. The huge influx of money from the drug trade has been a major destabilizing force for the small nation.
Now that’s interesting for them to say. It is pretty self-evident that poverty is destabilizing. But then not all economic solutions make things better. African countries who wish to develop must not seek facile and illegal solutions to their economic woes, for God does not honor economic activity based on crime.