Civil War in Guinea-Bissau

Video Transcript

“When I went to Guinea-Bissau I met with the Gambian ambassador to Guinea-Bissau and he took me all around, [and showed] me the country, the city basically. And at the end of the night he told me ‘I want you to meet a special person, [an] interesting person.’ And he took me to the base, a military base, it was Ansumane Mané. I was surprised but I said ‘Yeah, let’s meet with him.’ It was all dark. I sat on the chair, here, on a chair here and my colleague here. Ansumane Mané sat on a high podium like here, like this one, I was on the down chair, and next to him the Gambian ambassador, because he was doing the translation, the interpretation. And he took my business card, [he’s] barely able to read. And during the one hour conversation he didn’t look at us one time. And he was like this ‘OK, what are you doing here? Why [are you] here?’ And he [started to explain to] us that it’s true he’s not the president but he has some, he has, ‘We all know who has the power in this country right now. And I’m glad you came to me so you will be under my protection.’ Later on I understood, I was told not to meet with him anymore because he’s going to ask for money. That’s one of the things.

“That was a pretty interesting experience because one month after that he was assassinated. Once he was assassinated the president was overthrown, another president came and he killed also the head of the army. Two days later the president was killed, shot in his palace by army people who went in. So there is still this friction on this issue. And that caused poverty due to this [civil] war. It caused poverty in this country.”

In this video, a Guinea-Bissau expert discusses the beginnings of the civil war.