Guinea Bissau: Political chaos could boost cocaine trade

Guinea-Bissau: Political chaos could boost cocaine trade
Guinea-Bissau: Political chaos could boost cocaine trade

Guinea Bissau, a small west African state is facing political crises. Due to the political turmoil, the country was ruled by two presidents and prime ministers. However, one of the presidents stepped down citing fears of threats. As a result of the many chaotic years, analysts can’t even provide an accurate number of coups conducted. Some say nine while others 10 last years elections to restore peace backfired. For they fiercely sparked more protests.

Political Chaos and the Lifestyle in Guinea Bissau

Despite the political chaos, the citizens of Guinea Bissau tend to carry on with their normal lifestyle. However, deep down they feel enraged by their country’s political situation. They are clueless about what the future has in store and don’t even know who to believe. Regardless, the Bissau-Guineans’ have not despaired. They long for a prosperous future. Nevertheless, any time they raise their hopes they are ambushed by violence.


They live with the uncertainty of who their president is. Many times people share their thoughts on who they think the president in guinea remains rather less enthralling especially the presence of government forces in the streets on normal days. It is always a reminder of instability. The frequent violence keeps retarding the country’s economic growth. For instance, traders complain of the chaos killing their businesses.

Why is the current situation in Guinea very polarised?

According to Gilles Yabi, founder of Washi, the problems in Guinea are more structural. He says the country has a history of war.

”The country has a history of war, fighting for independence from Portugal, so the presence of the military is directly linked to this history, and the role the military played to get independence. The main problem is the political class of the country and the fact that they have been fighting for power for a long time. The current situation is very polarised. Depending on whom you talk to, they will have quite a different version of things.”


The political differences resulted in a dispute over who won the December polls. According to the electoral commission, the rightful winner is Embalo with 54%. However, the opposition raised claims on rigged votes. Also, there were claims that the opposition tried bribing the judges of the supreme court so that the verdict could be in favor of PAIGC. The country is in confusion, as there are no certainties on who their president is.

Cocaine trade in Guinea Bissau

Amidst the political chaos, drug cartels have turned the state into a cocaine staging post. The drug operations are run by corrupt guinea Bissau authorities and foreign drug dealers. Drugs from Latin America headed for Europe are hidden in Guinea. The drugs are sealed in waterproof bags and dropped in the beaches by the ocean. Frankly, cocaine trafficking has greatly contributed to the political instability in Guinea Bissau.


For instance, the largest seizure of cocaine was 1.8tonnes. These tonnes of cocaine were discovered concealed in flour bags in boats. Consequently, two weeks later four Bissau-Guineans, three Colombians, and a Malian were captured. Furthermore, about 789 kilograms of cocaine were also recovered from a false bottom of a truck transporting frozen fish.