Guinea Bissau has a turbulent history. It achieved independence from Portugal in 1973 after nearly twenty years of armed rebellion. During this time and following independence, large quantities of arms and munitions were stockpiled. Political instability continued after the Cold War, with a civil war from 1998-2000, a series of military coups and the assassination of the President in 2009.
Today the people of Guinea Bissau still live in fear. Ammunition stockpiles could explode at any moment and unsecured weapons are a constant threat to life.
HALO is working with the government to improve security. Our technical specialists are working with the military to construct a temporary ammunition storage area that will allow unsecured ammunition to be moved away from populated areas. Our team is also re-furbishing armouries and introducing weapons marking and record-keeping, to prevent arms from getting into the wrong hands and to help keep communities safe.
Rufino Mendes, Finance Manager
By training local soldiers like Rufino to manage weapons and ammunition, HALO is building national capacity and helping the government to restore confidence, so the people of Guinea Bissau can rebuild their lives.