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December 9, 2013
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Guinea Bissau News
Guinea-Bissau said on Sunday it had dismantled a criminal network trafficking children to Gambia, where they are forced by Islamic schools to beg on the streets.
Guinea-Bissau said on Friday it was postponing national elections which had been due to take place in nine days until March next year.
Civil society organisations in West Africa need to be more fully implicated in anti-drugs campaigns in a region which faces new challenges on both drugs trafficking and consumption. Both the coastlines of West Africa and the vast swathes of desert in the interior are now belong used by drugs traffickers, who have long established transit routes. Most of the narcotics come from Latin America, arriving by boat or plane.
Guinea-Bissau's parliament rejected a bill on Tuesday that would have granted amnesty to the leaders of the latest of a long line of military coups last year.
A new report by the World Bank and International Finance Corporation says 17 sub-Saharan countries are among the 50 economies making the biggest improvement in business regulation for domestic firms. The improvement has been going on since 2005.
At least seven persons were killed in a shootout on Sunday in Bissau, the capital of Guinea Bissau, highlighting that the West African nation continues to be volatile, some six months after a controversial coup removed the government of Carlos Gomes Junior. The ECOWAS-backed interim government in Bissau has accused former colonial power, Portugal, the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries and ex-Prime Minister Junior of being behind the “coup attempt”.
A cross-border cholera sensitization exercise has been taking place in the southern Senegalese border town of Diaobé in the Kolda region, straddling Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Mali and Guinea Conakry. Health workers have been sensitizing communities about the importance of basic hygiene and other methods to prevent and treat cholera.
The sub-regional bloc, Economic Community of West African States has called on the international community to “recognize and support” the transitional government in Guinea Bissau, where an ECOWAS Standby Force has since been deployed. The former ruling party, PAIGC had opposed the formation of the transitional government.
ECOWAS has reached a deal with Mali’s former junta to extend the duration of the transition under the leadership of the interim President Dioncounda Traoré. In a statement released after talks in Bamako, the sub-regional bloc said the purpose of the weekend meeting was “to deliver a strong message to the military junta against meddling in the country's political process.”
The UN Security Council has threatened to impose an arms embargo and financial sanctions on Guinea Bissau, if the military junta fails to return the country to civilian rule, as ECOWAS begins deploying troops to stabilize the situation.