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Introduction: 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...

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History: The rivers of Guinea and the islands of Cape Verde were among the first areas in Africa explored by the Portuguese in the 15th century. Portugal claimed Portuguese Guinea in 1446, but few trading posts were established before 1600. In 1630, a "captaincy-general" of Portuguese Guinea was established to administer the territory. With the cooperation of some local tribes, the Portuguese entered the ...

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International Relations: In the 1990s, relations with neighbouring Senegal were strained due to incidents in the Casamance border area. Several times in the 1990s, Guinea-Bissau accused the Senegalese army of encroaching on Guinea-Bissau territory in their fight against Casamance separatists, whom the Senegalese accused Guinea-Bissau of supporting and arming. Relations have improved significantly since the death of General Mane, and the subsequent efforts by the Guinea-Bissau army to expel the Casamance separatists from the country. Guinea-Bissau and Senegal have also had a land and maritime border dispute, which was resolved in 1995 after being taken to the ICJ by ...

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