Guinea-Bissauan War of Independence 1962-1974

[ 1962 - 1974 ]

In 1956, Amilcar Cabral (1921-73) founded the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), which tried unsuccessfully through negotiations to gain independence for Portuguese Guinea (Guinea-Bissau) and the Cape Verde Islands, two Portuguese overseas provinces. The PAIGC prepared for an armed struggle by gaining the solid support of the Guinean villagers on the West African mainland. In late 1962, small guerrilla bands began attacking Portuguese army posts and police stations, and many areas were soon cleared of foreigners. Each band established a base in the forest from which it staged its operations. The Portuguese retaliated by bring warplanes and more troops from Lisbon; guerrilla bases were subsequently bombed and raided. African tribalism and a widespread belief in witchcraft threatened the unity of the guerrillas until Cabral called a council of his commanders and explained that the liberation movement would fail unless it soldiers treated the people justly and forsook witchcraft; the PAIGC was, Cabral said, "a dual revolution" against colonialism and old, outmoded beliefs. By 1973, the PAIGC had obtained control of two-thirds of Portuguese Guinea; it proclaimed independence and renamed the province the Republic of Guinea-Bissau. Portugal refused recognition, but a military coup in Lisbon (1974) installed a new national government that granted independence to Guinea-Bissau later that year; Luis de Almeida Cabral (b. 1931-) became president, his brother Amilcar having been assassinated in early 1973. Under a separate agreement with Portugal, the Cape Verde Islands became an independent republic in 1975.

Related Conflicts

No Releted Conflicts