Humanitarian Situation Report: Guinea-Bissau, 20 October 1998

Situation Report
Originally published
Period covered: 20 October 1998

Bissau City was reported calm at 8:00 a.m. this morning, but shelling resumed at 14:00. Senegalese troop movement was reported from town out toward the city limits where the two armies are now face to face.

Early this morning, Bafata was reported calm overnight. Heavy fighting was reported in the Bambadinca area. Portuguese television reports that Bafata fell under military junta control late this afternoon.


Massive population movements were reported from Bissau towards the Bijagos Archipeligos, Biumbo, Oio and Cacheu regions late yesterday and again today. The roads from Bissau to Bafata/Gabu are closed, forcing the people to move northbound.

Today, nine (9) UN international staff (4-WFP, 5-UNDP/UNV) moved from Bafata to Senegal. The UNV medical doctors were scheduled for R&R in Dakar. Two of the WFP staff are temporarily based in Tambacounda (Senegal) on standby to return to Bafata as soon as the security situation permits. Two others will be redeployed to Bubaque (Bijagos) assisting in food distribution to recently arriving IDPs.

Since yesterday, 30 (thirty) UN local staff and their dependents have been housed in a safe location in Bissau. Regular contact is maintained with them twice daily.


Due to the resumption of hostilities in country, the UN Heads of Agencies are now meeting daily at 10:00 a.m., in order to assess the evolving situation and collaborate in the humanitarian response.

Concrete measures envisaged include:

1) pre-positioning of food in Cacheu (350 MTs); Bubaque (100 MTs); Bolama (200 MTs) and 2) arrangements with NGO partner(s) for distribution in these areas. Food delivery to each of these regions is planned by boat.

In preparation for the above, a mission is planned for Bubaque to assess target population and review the logistics.

Tomorrow, UN Agencies and NGOs will meet in order to:

1) assess the current situation countrywide with special regard to population movement;
2) determine humanitarian response;
3) present the outline of the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) for 1999.

This report is available on the internet through RELIEFWEB:

Complex Emergency Response /
Consolidated Appeal Process
(CER/CAP) - Geneva
Mr. Ernest Chipman - Chief
Mr. Thierry Delbreuve
Tel.: (41 22) 788.7019
Fax: (41 22) 788.6386
Registry E-Mail:

Complex Emergencies Division
(CED) - New York
Mr. Yvon Madore
Tel.: (1 212) 963.1627
Fax: (1 212) 963.1388
E-Mail :

Information Service
Ms. Thérèse Gastaut - Director
Tel.: (41 22) 917.2300
Fax: (41 22) 917.0030

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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