Excerpt: "Guinea-Bissau needs a state. Its political and administrative structures are insufficient to guarantee control of its territory, assure minimum public services or counter-balance the army’s dominance. This core weakness has been at the root of recurrent political crises, coups d’etat and the proliferation of criminal networks. Despite advancing little in 35 years of independence, Guinea-Bissau appears to have gained new momentum thanks to the signing of a Stability Pact by the three most important political parties in March 2007. Nevertheless, there is real risk of it becoming a narco-state and a political and administrative no-man’s-land, attractive to trafficking and terrorist networks in the Maghreb. The international community should urgently support the government’s efforts to consolidate democracy, reform the security sector and construct viable state structures."