Guinea-Bissau is a multiparty republic. It was ruled by the democratically elected President Jose Mario Vaz of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cabo Verde (PAIGC) and his appointed prime minister, Umaro Sissoco Embalo. Vaz took office in 2014 after a general election that included all 102 seats in the National Assembly. International observers considered the elections free and fair. The country has endured prolonged political gridlock punctuated by periods of turmoil since President Vaz dismissed former prime minister Domingos Simoes Pereira in 2015.
Civilian authorities maintained control over the security forces.
The most significant human rights issues included lack of judicial independence and due process; interference with privacy; official corruption exacerbated by government officials’ impunity and suspected involvement in drug trafficking; lack of investigation and accountability in cases of violence and discrimination against women and children; female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C); and trafficking in persons.
While the government took steps to investigate and punish officials who committed abuses, impunity in general remained a serious problem.