Sunday, February 22, 2009

Guinea Bissau, War of Indepence (continued)

There was always a resistance by the local people against the Portuguese but organised effort for struggle for indepenence was started after the formation of the African party for the independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) by the two leaders Amilcar Cabral and Rafael Barbosa in 1956. For the first few years attempt was made for negotiation with the Portuguese for Independence. Then some sporadic incidents of killing were held till PAIGC took the leadership of conducting the freedom struggle. The first major action was taken was a strike by dock workers in Bissau on Aug., 3,1959. The colonial police by their drastic action stopped the strike which caused 50 lives . The incident was known as Pijiguiti Massacre which raised a

huge popular support.

By 1960, the headquarters of PAIGC was shifted from Bissau to Conakry in neighbouring Guinea in order to prepare for an armed struggle In April 1961, PAIGC organised a conference of the of the Portuguese Colonies in Morocco which attended by the leaders of Mozambique, Angola, Sao tome and principe to organise and cooperate the different national liberation movement. The PAIGC undertook to organise sabotages until military trength became sufficient.

Soon after these attacks the communist nations of the world , such as USSR,Cuba, China arranged training camps for the guerrillass of the PAIGC to launch a mssive offensive. the first party congress of PAIGC took place in Cassaca in Feb. 1962, in which both the political and military arms of the PAIGC were assessed and reorganised to form a regular army (The peoples Army) and and to supplement them by the guerilla forces (The Peoples Guerillas).

Como Island was the site of a major battle between PAIGC and Portuguese forces, in which PAIGC took control of the island and resisted fiercely the counter ttacks by the Portuguese, including air strikes by FAP (Portuguese air Force) f-86 sabres.

After fierce fighting the PAIGC , by 1967, ha carried out 147 attacks on Portuguese camps and effectively controlled2/3 of Portuguese Guinea. in 1970, the FAP began to use similar weapons as used by USA against Vietnam.napam and Defoliants were also used. But with more help from Cuba and USSR, PAIGC could resist the attacks and took fresh offensives.

Portugal Capital, Lisbon

In Sept. 1973 a crushing blow was deit by the Portuguese and Amilcar Cabral was assassinated. But ultimately the Govt. of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, put to a bankruptcy and in 1974 pollowing a coup d'etat the Portuguese Govt. began to negotiate for settlement.on 10 sept., 1974 independence was granted. Luis Cabral, the brother of Amilcar, became the first president.

!,875 Portuguese soldiers (out of 35,000) and some 6,000 (out of 10,000) of PAIGC were killed at the end of 11 years of war.

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