Guinea-Bissau's 'first' anniversary of independence was celebrated in neighbouring Ivory Coast with an official reception on Tuesday (24 September).
Guinea-Bissau's 'first' anniversary of independence was celebrated in neighbouring Ivory Coast with an official reception on Tuesday (24 September). The reception, attended by Ivory Coast Government Ministers, and official and members of the PAIGC -- the Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde, which led the former Portuguese Colony to freedom -- marked the first anniversary of the Party's unilateral declaration of independence last year. The country was this month given its official freedom by the new Portuguese regime.
The reception, one of several in West African nations on Tuesday, was attended by about 1,500 people. A speech commemorating Guinea-Bissau's independence was made by PAIGC Action Committee member, Mr. Joseph Britto. Mr. Britto praised African solidarity on Guinea-Bissau and said that without such solidarity independence would have been much more difficult to achieve.
The Action Committee is based in Abidjan, the Ivorian Capital, where it controlled more than a thousand exiled party members engaged in the independence struggle.
SYNOPSIS: The Ivory Coast was one of several West African nations which celebrated the 'first' anniversary of independence in Guinea-Bissau on Tuesday. An official reception was attended by several Ivorian Government Ministers and officials and members of the PAIGC -- the Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde -- which unilaterally declared independence in the former Portuguese colony a year ago. Guinea-Bissau was given its official freedom this month by the new Portuguese regime. The old regime collapsed partly because the man who eventually took over, General Antonio Spinola, published a book criticising Portugal's handling of the thirteen-year-old guerrilla was in Guinea-Bissau. General Spinola, who once commanded Portuguese forces in Guinea Bissau, said Portugal could never win the war militarily. Within weeks of publication, an army coup overthrew the regime of Premier Marcello Caetano and General Spinola began negotiating the freedom of Portugal's African Empire.
Mr. Joseph Britto, a member of the PAIGC's Action Committee which organised exiled Guineans in Abidjan, said the independence of Guinea-Bissau was due in large part to African solidarity on the issue. Without such solidarity, he said, freedom would have been much longer in coming.