Military of Guinea-Bissau

Military of Guinea-Bissau
Soldiers of PAIGC raise the flag of Guinea-Bissau in 1974.

The Armed Forces of Guinea-Bissau (Forces armées de Guinée-Bissau) consist of an Army, Navy, Air Force and paramilitary forces. A 2008 United Nations Development Programme census estimated that there were around 4,000 personnel in the Armed Forces.[1] An earlier CIA World Fact Book figure was 9,250. The World Fact Book also estimated military expenditure as $9.46 million, and military spending as a percentage of GDP as 3.1%.

The World Fact Book also reports that the military service age and obligation is 18–25 years of age for selective compulsory military service; 16 years of age or younger with parental consent, for voluntary service (2009).

Reported army equipment includees FN FAL, RPG-7, AK-47, Vz. 52 rifle, T-34 tanks, T-55 tanks, Strela-2 MANPADS, ZPU-4, PT-76 tanks (20),[citation needed] BTR-152, ZSU-23-4 (16), BTR-60 (35), ZU-23-2 (16), 57 mm AZP S-60 (10).[citation needed]


2010 Guinea-Bissau military unrest

Major General Batista Tagme Na Waie was chief of staff of the Guinea-Bissau armed forces until his assassination in 2009.

Military unrest occurred in Guinea-Bissau on 1 April 2010. Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior was placed under house arrest by soldiers, who also detained Army Chief of Staff Zamora Induta. Supporters of Gomes and his party, PAIGC, reacted to the move by demonstrating in the capital, Bissau; Antonio Indjai, the Deputy Chief of Staff, then warned that he would have Gomes killed if the protests continued.[2]

The EU ended its mission to reform the country's security forces, EU SSR Guinea-Bissau, on 4 August 2010, a risk that may further embolden powerful generals and drug traffickers in the army and elsewhere. The EU mission's spokesman in Guinea-Bissau said the EU had to suspend its programme when the mastermind of the mutiny, General Antonio Indjai, became army chief of staff. "The EU mission thinks this is a breach in the constitutional order. We can't work with him".[3]

The multitude of small offshore islands and a military able to sidestep government with impunity has made it a favourite trans-shipment point for drugs to Europe. LPlane drops are made on or near the islands, and speedboats pick up bales to go direct to Europe or onshore.[4] UN chief Ban Ki-moon has called for sanctions against those involved in Guinea-Bissau's drugs trade.[5] Air force head Ibraima Papa Camara and former navy chief Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto have been named "drug kingpins".[6]

Army equipment

10- T-34 85mm  Soviet Union
10- T-54/55 100mm  Soviet Union
10- PT-76B 76mm  Soviet Union
10- BRDM-2  Soviet Union
25- BTR-40  Soviet Union}
20- BTR-152  Soviet Union
35- BTR-60PB  Soviet Union
10- 9K11 Malyutka/AT-3 Sagger  Soviet Union
RPG-7V  Soviet Union
B-10 recoilless rifle 82mm  Soviet Union
9- BM-21 Grad 122mm  Soviet Union
26- D-30  Soviet Union
SA-7B  Soviet Union
16- ZU-23-2  Soviet Union
16- ZSU-23-4 Shilka  Soviet Union
10- S-60  Soviet Union
AK-47  Soviet Union
AKM  Soviet Union
RPD  Soviet Union
RPK  Soviet Union
FN-FAL  Belgium
VZ-52  Czech Republic


After achieving independence from Portugal in 1974, the Força Aérea de Guine-Bissau or FAGB was formed with former Portuguese Douglas C-47's, North American T-6s, two Dornier Do-27s and two Aloutte III's. The FAGB was re-equipped by the Soviet Union with a limited aid package in which its first combat aircraft were introduced. Five MIG-17's and two MiG-15UTI trainers entered service with a single Mi-8 helicopter. In 1978 France provided more aircraft aid in the form of a Reims-cessna FTB.337 for coastal patrol and a surplus Aloutte III. A Dassult Falcon 20F was donated by the Angolan government but was soon sold to the USA. In the late 1980s a similar number of MiG 21's replaced the MiG 17's, also delivered an AN-24, a YAK-40 and anther Mi-8 helicopter. In the early 90s they received ex-polish PZL-Mielec Lim-6 Fresco fighter bombers from Poland and East Germany. From the state of the nation no jet fighters are flying and are grounded in disrepair.

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[7] Notes
Aérospatiale SA 319 Alouette III  France utility helicopter SA 319B 1
Cessna 337 Skymaster  France liaison FTB337E 1 built by Reims
Dornier Do 27  Germany utility Do 27 1
Mil Mi-8 Hip  Soviet Union transport helicopter Mi-8 1


Rear-Admiral Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto tried to garner support for a coup last Friday but failed and was arrested on Wednesday, sources in the capital Bissau said. Na Tchuto's arrest added to a political crisis that prompted neighbouring Senegal to dispatch a high-level delegation to Bissau." "Guinea-Bissau's navy chief, who was arrested last week and accused of trying to stage a coup, has escaped custody and fled to nearby Gambia, the armed forces said on Tuesday."[8]


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