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Guinea-Bissau:
Geography

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Guinea-Bissau Page


Background
Definition
Since independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has experienced considerable political and military upheaval. In 1980, a military coup established authoritarian dictator Joao Bernardo 'Nino' VIEIRA as president. Despite setting a path to a market economy and multiparty system, VIEIRA's regime was characterized by the suppression of political opposition and the purging of political rivals. Several coup attempts through the 1980s and early 1990s failed to unseat him. In 1994 VIEIRA was elected president in the country's first free elections. A military mutiny and resulting civil war in 1998 eventually led to VIEIRA's ouster in May 1999. In February 2000, a transitional government turned over power to opposition leader Kumba YALA, after he was elected president in transparent polling. In September 2003, after only three years in office, YALA was ousted by the military in a bloodless coup, and businessman Henrique ROSA was sworn in as interim president. In 2005, former President VIEIRA was re-elected president pledging to pursue economic development and national reconciliation.
Location
Definition
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Senegal
Geographic coordinates
Definition
12 00 N, 15 00 W
Map references
Definition
Africa
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 36,120 sq km
land: 28,000 sq km
water: 8,120 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly less than three times the size of Connecticut
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 724 km
border countries: Guinea 386 km, Senegal 338 km
Coastline
Definition
350 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate
Definition
tropical; generally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds
Terrain
Definition
mostly low coastal plain rising to savanna in east
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location in the northeast corner of the country 300 m
Natural resources
Definition
fish, timber, phosphates, bauxite, clay, granite, limestone, unexploited deposits of petroleum
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 8.31%
permanent crops: 6.92%
other: 84.77% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
250 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
31 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 0.18 cu km/yr (13%/5%/82%)
per capita: 113 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
Definition
hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season; brush fires
Environment - current issues
Definition
deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing; overfishing
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
this small country is swampy along its western coast and low-lying inland


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