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Guinea-Bissau Gains Independence

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Guinea Bissau/Cape Verde Island--Sun Sources--After five centuries of Portuguese rule and exploitation, the former African colonies of Guinea-Bissau and the Cape Verde Islands have won independence and national liberation.

Pedro Bires, Vice-Minister for Defense of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and the Cape Verde Islands (PAIGC), and the Portuguese Foreign Minister Mario Soares, signed the independence agreement several weeks ago in the Palace of the People inĀ Algiers.

The agreement is to take effect September 10, and also states that Portugal will remove all of its troops from the territory by October 31.

The signing has ended 13 years of guerilla war led by the PAIGC and signals the fall of Portuguese colonialism in Africa. Successful guerilla warfare has also been going on for decades in the other Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique. The Portuguese government that took power in an April 25 coup has promised to grant independence to Mozambique and Angola. Angola's is to come some time after 1976 and Mozambique's to be sometime sooner.

Dissatisfaction with the long and bloody wars in the colonies was a major factor in the military coup that ended 42 years of rule by right-wing President Antonio Salazar and Premier Marcello Caetano. The new government promises to support Guinea-Bissau's application for membership to the United Nations.

With the apparent pending liberation of the last of the overt colonies of Africa, the apartheid and reactionary governments of South Africa and Rhodesia have already begun to mobilize forces to combat a new tide of revolutionary activity in those countries. Recently over 3 million black Africans have been "relocated" into Vietnam prototype "strategic hamlets."