Saturday, May 8, 2010 Guinea Bissau: Security Sector Reform Hangs in the Balance Guinea Bissau: Security Sector Reform Hangs in the Balance:
Security sector reform is vital to boost stability in this coup-prone, drug-trafficking country. Continuous political instability - there have been three governments, three prime ministers and three presidents since 2006 - has blocked leaders from building up basic services such as health and sanitation, or improving people's living conditions.

There are currently nine police units in Guinea-Bissau, each with overlapping and unclear missions, and inadequate resources and training; a justice sector which is strongly influenced by political power, lacks sufficient laws or the means to enforce them; and top-heavy armed forces which are not content to be led by civilian rule, according to the EU.

The armed forces have played a direct role in much of the country's recent violence, including the 1 April events, according to analysts.

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