June 8 2009

Situation tense in Guinea-Bissau

08/06/09 - In the wake of a series of politically motivated assassinations, SOS Children's Villages in Guinea-Bissau has closed several facilities and stocked up on supplies as a preventive measure in case of civil unrest.

Three former ministers of Guinea-Bissau, among them Baciro Dabo,a government minister who was to be a candidate in the upcoming presidential election, have been killed by gunmen. Many businesses, such as banks and others, have taken the decision to close for the time being.  Likewise, the director of SOS Children's Villages, Nelson de Medina, has thought it prudent to close SOS schools, the social centre and the offices until the situation settles. SOS programmes have remained alert and are always ready (in terms of food, fuel, etc.) to face a change of situation or curfews.

The recent killings are only the latest installments of bloodshed in a country that has been tormented by political turmoil, economic depression and crippling poverty for decades.
Earlier this year, the President of the country, Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira, and the chief of the military forces had also been assassinated.