In Guinea-Bissau Troubled new government sworn in

The tiny west African state has been in the grip of a power struggle since August 2015, when President Mario Vaz sacked then premier Domingos Simoes Pereira.

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Guinea-Bissau's President Jose Mario Vaz play

Guinea-Bissau's President Jose Mario Vaz

(AFP/File)
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Guinea-Bissau's new government was sworn in Tuesday, almost a month after Prime Minister Umaro Sissoco Embalo stepped into office tasked with ending a long political crisis.

The tiny west African state has been in the grip of a power struggle since August 2015, when President Jose Mario Vaz sacked then premier Domingos Simoes Pereira, leader of the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC).

Vaz then named Baciro Dja as the new premier, but the ruling PAIGC remained split over his nomination, with some lawmakers even refusing to work with him, effectively paralysing the country.

Embalo's new 37-member cabinet, including four women, is mostly made up of members of the Dja government, including Defence Minister Eduardo Costa Sanha and Foreign Minister Jorge Malu.

Guinea-Bissau has been plagued by military coups and instability since its independence from Portugal in 1974, and in recent years has become a cocaine trafficking hub.

But last November the UN's special representative for west Africa Mohamed Ibn Chambas praised the country's progress in fighting drug trafficking since President Vaz's election in 2014.

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