An armed rebellion beginning in 1956 by the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde under the leadership of Amlcar Cabral gradually consolidated its hold on the country. Unlike guerrilla movements in other Portuguese colonies, the PAIGC rapidly extended its military control over large portions of the country, aided by the jungle-like terrain, its easily-reached borderlines with neighbouring countries and large quantities of arms from Cuba, China, the Soviet Union, and left-leaning African countries. Cuba also agreed to supply artillery experts, doctors and technicians. The PAIGC even managed to acquire a significant anti-aircraft capability in order to defend itself against aerial attack. By 1973, the PAIGC was in control of most of the country. Independence was unilaterally declared on September 24, 1973. Recognition became universal following the 1974 socialist-inspired military coup in Portugal.
Following independence local soldiers that fought along with the Portuguese Army against the PAIGC guerrillas were slaughtered by the hundreds of thousands. A small number escaped to Portugal or to other African nations. The most famous massacre occurred in Bissor. In 1980 PAIGC admitted in its newspaper N Pintcha"" that many were executed and buried in unmarked collective graves in the woods of Cumer, Portogole and Mansab."
The country was controlled by a revolutionary council until 1984. The first multi-party elections were held in 1994, but an army uprising in 1998 led to the president's ousting and the Guinea-Bissau Civil War. Elections were held again in 2000 and Kumba Ial was elected president.
In September 2003, a coup took place in which the military arrested Ial on the charge of being unable to solve the problems."" After being delayed several times, legislative elections were held in March 2004. A mutiny of military factions in October 2004 resulted in the death of the head of the armed forces, and caused widespread unrest."
In June 2005, presidential elections were held for the first time since the coup that deposed Ial. Ial returned as the candidate for the PRS, claiming to be the legitimate president of the country, but the election was won by former president Joo Bernardo Vieira, deposed in the 1998 coup. Vieira was a candidate for one of the factions of the PAIGC. Vieira beat Malam Bacai Sanh in a runoff election, but Sanh refused initially to concede, claiming that the elections have been fraudulent in two constituencies, including the capital, Bissau.
Despite reports that there had been an influx of arms in the weeks leading up to the election and reports of some disturbances during campaigning"" - including attacks on the presidential palace and the Interior Ministry by as-yet-unidentified gunmen - European monitors labelled the election as ""calm and organized""."
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