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Guinea-Bissau assassinations: Is Colombia's drug trade behind them?

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 02:14 AM
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Guinea-Bissau assassinations: Is Colombia's drug trade behind them?
The murder of the president and the Army chief on Monday raises questions about the nature of the instability in this African nation.

By Scott Baldauf | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the March 3, 2009 edition

... In recent years, Colombian drug cartels have begun flying small planes across the Atlantic, landing on tiny islands dotting the Guinean coastline. Since Guinea-Bissau has no navy to patrol its waters, the cartels were free to unload tons of cocaine destined for Europe. The drugs were then distributed to impoverished African migrants, who would carry the drugs north by boat to the shores of France, Italy, and Spain.

Government corruption, fed by poor government salaries at the bottom and uncertain political leadership at the top, means that Guinea Bissau has few tools to stop the drug trafficking ...

"This recent set of killings can be explained <as> the action of the drug traffickers, who would not allow anything to get in the way or to obstruct their links with Europe," says David Zounmenou, a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies in Tshwane, formerly known as Pretoria.

"Africans are very reluctant to call for external interventions," Dr. Zounmenou adds, noting that many African countries are still suspicious of Western countries, some of which were colonial rulers less than 50 years ago. "But drug trafficking is not a domestic matter anymore. It affects the stability of many countries, it affects systems of governance, and it allows groups to acquire weapons."
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MinM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 02:02 PM
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1. 'Dogs of War' author in real-life African thriller
This is a very strange case indeed:

Frederick Forsyth in real-life African thriller

Mr Forsyth, the author of The Day of the Jackal, flew to Guinea-Bissau, in Africa, to research a new book on Sunday.

But within a day the chief of the army had been killed by a bomb and the president shot and then hacked to pieces with a machete.

He told the BBC the drama was "garnish on the cake" that might be in his new novel, adding: "I can assure you I had nothing to do with the coup d'etat."

Mr Forsyth has previously admitted helping to finance a 1973 coup attempt in another West African state, Equatorial Guinea.

This week's events will inevitably draw comparisons with his 1974 book The Dogs of War, about a plan to topple the government of a fictional African country.

The best-selling author arrived in Guinea-Bissau from the Portuguese capital Lisbon just after the army chief, General Tagme Na Waie, was assassinated on Sunday...

How a tiny West African country became the world's first narco state

Thriller author on scene of African coup (3:10)| PRI's The World

Assassination Brutally Real For Novelist: NPR
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