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São Tomé e Principe - Doctrine

With an area of only 1,001 km2 and a total population of about 187 000 inhabitants, the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, located in the Gulf of Guinea on the West Coast and equatorial Africa, may be considered a microstate. The geographic and demographic dimensions and the insularity play an important role among the factors which are on the basis of the characteristics of the country's political, economic and social life. As with the other island states, the country could be construed as possibly having strategic value as either a reconnaissance base, or staging area. Perhaps more significantly, Sao Tome is within striking range of oil fields in Cameroon, Gabon, and Nigeria.

At the time of the discovery of the archipelago by the Portuguese, in 1471, there was no autochthonous population, there were no institutions pre-colonial policies, ethnic divisions or a military culture, as existed in continent African. The economy of the archipelago was always based on plantation farming predominating the sugar cane, coffee and cocoa, the latter introduced in the early 19th century. Even today the poor country's economy is based on the culture of the cocoa, representing about 90% of the exports- tions, and fishing activity, depending on the Sao Tome in 80% are of international aid.

After five centuries of Portuguese colonial rule, São Tomé and Príncipe became independent in 1975. On 26 November 1974, the Portuguese Government and the movement for the liberation of São Tomé and Principe (MLSTP) signed in the Algerian capital the Algiers agreement which came to establish the molds the independence of the country, having been fixed of 12 July 1975. In this agreement the Portuguese Government recognized the MLSTP as sole and legitimate representative of the people of São Tomé and Príncipe, and it is stipulated that a transitional Government would ensure, along with a High Commissioner appointed by the Government Portuguese, the implementation of agreed terms. The High Commissioner held command of the Military forces stationed in the Islands, while the police would be under the purview of the designated Prime Minister.

As for the quota of native military, it was stipulated that the Portuguese Government would retain little more than a hundred from the Companhia de Caçadores 7 [7th Company of Hunters]. The company of 7 Hunters was the genesis of the country's military. The transition of power to the MLSTP instituted a Soviet-inspired one-party regime in the archipelago. In March 1978, the Commander of the army was arrested on charges of being an agent of imperialism and having tried to assassinate the head of State. Before the alleged threat by imperialism, the then President, Pinto da Costa, requested help Angolan troops which remained in the country until 1991.

In the period of the first Republic (1975 to 1990), during a one-party regime ran São Tomé and Principe, only privileged cooperation took place with Cuba and with the former East Germany. This took the regime, as a first step, to adjust its policy increasingly both internal and external reliance on the Soviet bloc. However, in the late 20th century, by the 1980s, there was a progressive clearance from the Eastern bloc and a statement of non-alignment, in the spirit the Conference of Bandung.

In the late 1980s, a boost was given to the democratic transition in Sao Tome, as a result of intellectual pressure inside and outside the party and Western donor countries, especially France and the United States of America. In this context, reforms took over the party, opponents were amnestied in 1990, a new democratic Constitution was approved by popular referendum. New parties and politicians came forward, and in 1991, as a result of elections condsidered free and transparent, the party of Democratic Convergence-reflection group came to power. Both the elections in 1991 as in 1994 took place on a regular and transparent manner, having the election results were accepted without challenge, for all the political formations.

The genesis and development of the Armed components of Sao Tome and Principe (FASTP), in conjunction with the internal and external changes the country has been subject in recent decades, in 2010 was passed a new Act And National Armed Forces (LDNFA)-Law No. 8/2010 of 22 of September – in order to redefine the concept of national defense and the Mission of the forces Armed with a new orgâ structure- only suited for missions that are called the play in the geostrategic context in which São Tomé and Príncipe.

The new law comes to review the previous LDNFA (Law No. 21/1994 of 27 May), which was forcibly revised up the international reality, via the profound changes the paradigm in international relations and types of threats of News, but also as regards the reality of Sao Tome. Since 1994 the country had been the target of two military uprisings and were however major breakthroughs reservations of oil in its EEZ, which in terms of National Defense and changes completely the Sao Tome State's position vis-à-vis its citizens, the Mission of the armed forces and the community International.

At the top of the hierarchy remains the President of the Republic which is, in the constitutional framework, the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, the which play a key role as one of the pillars of national unity and the democratic regime and as a symbol of sovereignty within the framework of national defence. With the approval of the new LDNFA was given the first step in the transformation of the structure of the armed forces, in the sense of an evolution of According to the needs of modern times, allowing adaptation to reality socio-economic in São Tomé and Príncipe, a constitutional framework of subordination to power politically, bearing in mind their missions intended for strictly military point of view, as well, the new responses best suited to the geostrategic country specificities, and also follow the new requirements arising from internal development and component resulting from external regional and international environment When Sao Tome.

The LDNFA comes to define a new structure of FASTP, predicting the existence of two branches of the forces Military, army and Coast Guard, commanded for senior officers of Colonel rank, depending on directly to a Chief of staff the armed forces, general officer of rank Brigadier. That's how the structure of the Armed forces constituted solely by Army, whose command was, since 2003, assigned to Lt. Col. Muhammad Pachire, that since the restoration of order in 2003, managed to restore the chain the local Army command and appease the military means.

Within the framework of the new National Defense law and the Armed forces in the second half of 2012, were sworn the Chief and Deputy Chief of staff the armed forces of Sao Tome and Principe. For this purpose, were promoted two lieutenant-colonels the FASTP to rank of Brigadier and Colonel, reflecting the new legal provision and the need to be in charge of a FASTP general officer. The Chief of staff of FASTP has been implementing the new structure, having been given priority to new Chefe de Estado-Maior das Forças Armadas [Commander of the Armed Forces] in order to establish command relationships contained in law.

It also the highlight contribution of FASTP in social terms through the promotion of values and characteristic of the military. The armed forces, although not numerous, ill-equipped and extremely dependent on help from partner countries, continue to be a real "School of virtue", by the example that give the general population, but also by the principles and teachings transmit to young people who meet the service military. Indeed, the FASTP have fulfilled the over the years a remarkable social function, as is within the institution that many young people acquire fundamental values to your formation as citizens, but where they learn too crafts they often open possibilities of employment on his return to civilian life. The title example, may refer the projects military engineering, developed under military-technical cooperation, the hundreds of young people are-Sao Tome, over the past two decades, learn-ofí CIOs related to construction, from Masons the tilers or carpenters, as well as the experience gained in the various services that integrate the armed forces, is the logistical level, administrative or operational.

The military institution, in addition to constitute key factor for affirmation and external credibility, must be equipped and prepared to responding to the challenges of defense in region as piracy, terrorism, trafficking in drugs and the control of marine pollution. Is estimated in Africa, the Gulf of Aden, whether in the Gulf of Guinea area has registered a sharp increase of piracy.

Although the cases recorded in the region differ the Eastern African coast, to the extent that usually in the Gulf of Guinea are not made hostages and demanded ransoms, the instability growing calls into question maritime safety of people and goods, which affect global trade and also a deterrent effect on attracting investment to the region.

Despite the deficiencies of the armed forces in with respect to weaponry, equipment and training of frames, ther has been a real transformation in the Sao Tome military culture. The profound changes prescribed in the new law of National Defense, which have been implemented, are the consecration of a new posture of the political power in the face of the armed forces and of these with regard to political life. In more recent institutional crisis which occurred in recent months of 2012 in Sao Tome, which provided the fall of the 14th constitutional Government, subject to a motion of censure in Parliament, the FASTP adopted a peaceful and impartial stance vis-à-vis political developments, having the head of Staff stated that the military institution was quiet to monitor closely the situation, Stressing that the military is apolitical and your mission is the defense of national sovereignty.

The position taken by the military are leading to full consolidation within the FASTP consciousness that it is not up to the armed forces make up nation, but the defense of the Constitution and of the country. On the other hand, political power has been to support the FASTP as guarantor of stability, flocking often the Board of Governors of Defense. It is up to the Supreme Council of Defense comment on defense issues, as well as concerning the internal security situation and foreign and make recommendations to the Government on the measures to be adopted, in order to deal emerging challenges in the field of defence and security. With effect has been developed an institutional dialogue between politicians and the military.

São Tomé faces a multiplicity of challenges internally and regionally. The country's current major concerns are internally the necessary stabilization politics, and externally the conflicts in Democratic Republic of the Congo and in the Central African Republic. This includes the instability experienced in neighboring Nigeria, grappling with terrorist action that has plagued especially the Islamic North. Nigeria is a country with which Sao Tome shares a zone joint development (ZDC) and which depends on to start the exploitation of hydrocarbons discovered in its waters in the early the new millenium.

It should be noted the agreement with Nigeria, towards the creation of a Commission with the aim of maintaining the conditions on the Gulf of Guinea, with a view to protect the security of the joint exploration area of oil. In the case of Nigeria also serves to alert the authorities are-if Sao Tome build capacity of the future exploitation of its natural resources bring some dividends and even greater challenges, that only with effective action and prepared the FASTP can be overcome. At regional level, São Tomé and Príncipe as Member of the economic community of Central Africa (ECCAS) has been participating summits of Heads of State of the subregion, assuming a peacemaker role within the Organization, lobbying for the restoration of peace in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.





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