Guinea-Bissau is bordered by Senegal to the north and Guinea to the south and east, with the Atlantic Ocean to its west. It lies mostly between latitudes 11° and 13°N (a small area is south of 11°), and longitudes 13° and 17°W
Since independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has experienced considerable political and military upheaval. In 1980, a military coup established authoritarian dictator Joao Bernardo ‘Nino’ Vieira as president. Despite setting a path to a market economy and multiparty system, Vieira’s regime was characterized by the suppression of political opposition and the purging of political rivals. Several coup attempts through the 1980s and early 1990s failed to unseat him. In 1994 Vieira was elected president in the country’s first free, multiparty election. A military mutiny and resulting civil war in 1998 eventually led to Vieira’s ouster in May 1999.