Funding restrictions on U.S. assistance to Guinea-Bissau were recently lifted following 2014 elections that were considered free and fair by the international community. These restrictions were put into place in response to an April 2012 coup d’état. We will identify opportunities to re-engage with the democratically elected government of Guinea-Bissau on a case-by-case basis.
Challenges: Historically, Guinea-Bissau has been a transit hub for drug trafficking from South America to Europe, although that trade has slowed with a diminishing number of international flights and with the April 2013 U.S. arrests and indictments of several former high-level Guinea-Bissau military officials. The country’s lack of law enforcement capabilities, demonstrated susceptibility to corruption, porous borders, convenient location between Europe, South America, and neighboring West African transit points, and linguistic connections to Brazil, Portugal, and Cape Verde provide an opportune environment for traffickers. Drug trafficking, corruption, and related crimes pose a serious challenge to the capability of Guinea-Bissau to progress on a path of democracy, good governance, and legitimate free market development.
Goals: The U.S. government will assist Guinea-Bissau embark on a path to effectively combat transnational organized crime, including drug trafficking, money laundering, and corruption.