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Guinea-Bissau Army

The most serious of the Guinean problems lies in the fact that it has always maintained a military that is disproportionate to the needs and, above all, to the economic capabilities of the country. In 1973, the PAIGC had PT-76 amphibious tanks, rocket artillery and anti-aircraft missiles, while using the air force of neighboring Guinea- Conakri, which was virtually at war against Portugal, although not Had officially declared. Up to a dozen T-34/85 tanks were received by the country's armed forces.

The army was essentially made up of soldiers from Baltania. This ethnicity is characterized by a disposition on the ground, in a semi-circle, that separates Bissau from the east of the country. The Balantas in the north had a border with Senegal and the south with Guinea-Conakri. It was this provision of the Balanta territories that more complicated the movement of the Portuguese who had to pass through the territories controlled by this ethnic group to gain access to the rest of the country.

1 x armored battalion (squadron)
1 x reconnaissance company
4 x infantry battalions
1 x artillery battalion
1 x engineering company
After independence, the base structure of Guinea-Bissau's army remained unchanged. The Balanta continued by their nature to be the men of arms and came to consider that, since they represent between 25% and 30% of the population and are the largest of the ethnic groups, they had the right to intervene in the country's politics.

It is known that even today, it is not uncommon for the Balanta military to remind politicians of other ethnic groups that it was essentially they who fought against the Portuguese, and again it is the Balanta that in 2012, challenged the international community, saying they will treat a United Nations force as an invading force.

But even with the reduction of the size of the Guinea-Bissau army following the end of the war, the truth is that with the fall of the Soviet Union (which continued to send to the country old armaments that no longer Had utility in Europe) the weaponry was no longer practically free. The Balantas maintained a large, but increasingly difficult, armed force.

As the material provided by the Soviets was aging and breaking, nothing came to replace it. The Guinean armed forces have, over time, become little more than a group of uniformed men armed with light weapons.

The military uprisings that marked the history of Guinea-Bissau have always resulted from problems with Balanta military, and the conflict that led to the deposition of Nino Vieira by Colonel Ansumane Man of the Mandinga ethnic group And a Muslim religion that would have killed Balanta in 2000.

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