Republic of Guinea-Bissau: Census of the Armed Forces

By United Nations Integrated Peace-Building Office in Guinea-Bissau
Updated: 12/28/2012

By United Nations Integrated Peace-Building Office in Guinea-Bissau, April 2008.

As one of the few African countries to win a war for independence, the Armed Forces in Guinea-Bissau have been a source of national pride. However, the security sector is now overstaffed and unsuited to current security threats. The government is unable to pay troops, fueling resentment, corruption, and incentives to move into illicit activities. According to a census of the armed forces, there are currently 2.73 soldiers per 1,000 people in Guinea-Bissau compared to the West African average of 1.23 soldiers per 1,000 people. The majority of troops (71%) are stationed in the capital, and the organization is very top heavy with nearly half (42%) being officers. A detailed census of the force can be used to improve the management of security resources, identify and track active military members, and “rightsize” the security sector.

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