Citation(s) from the literature library

Guinea-Bissau. 2010 ‘Law on Arms.’ National Report of Guinea-Bissau on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA), pp. 5-6. New York NY: Permanent Mission of Guinea-Bissau to the United Nations. 1 January

Relevant contents

1.2 Law on Arms

At the beginning of its independence, Guinea‐Bissau did not have any appropriate laws on SALW. Existing laws dating back from the colonial period are totally unsuited to the current reality and the needs of the country.

The homemade manufacture was simply prohibited because the Portuguese feared any transaction of such weapons to the Independentist Fighters. Moreover, that is the same reason that made the colonial power create all necessary and indispensable conditions for the Decree‐Law No. 42,805 to be strictly observed.

Thus, in the first years after independence, the Guinean state published the Law 1 / 73, BO of 04/01/75, which maintains, in the following terms, the same Portuguese colonial law: all that is not contrary to national sovereignty, the Constitution, statutes of the Republic and the principles and objectives of the PAIGC, remain in force (art.1 º).

Of course, these laws were basically from a different State and political regime. That is, they have little respect or are almost alien to the ECOWAS Convention laws on SALW. This legal gap not only encourages unscrupulous traffickers in illegal practices, but above all, doesn't include legal dispositions on issues ranging from the transfer and manufacture to the use and possession of arms in Guinea‐Bissau.

Experience shows us that it was difficult at the beginning of Independence, to have a full divorce from the colonial legislative regime, for that procedure would lead to legislative emptiness. In fact, all the rules that were created after by State of Guinea‐Bissau had to take inspiration on the laws of the colonizing country and, in some situations, were transcribed verbatim.

[SALW = Small Arms and Light Weapons, ECOWAS = Economic Community of West African States; PAIGC = African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde]

ID: Q13135

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