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Discovered and claimed by Portugal in the late 15th century, the islands' sugar-based economy gave way to coffee and cocoa in the 19th century - all grown with plantation slave labor, a form of which lingered into the 20th century. While independence was achieved in 1975, democratic reforms were not instituted until the late 1980s. The country held its first free elections in 1991, but frequent internal wrangling between the various political parties precipitated repeated changes in leadership and two failed coup attempts in 1995 and 2003. The recent discovery of oil in the Gulf of Guinea promises to attract increased attention to the small island nation.


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Military

Military branches
Armed Forces of Sao Tome and Principe (Forcas Armadas de Sao Tome e Principe, FASTP): Army, Coast Guard of Sao Tome e Principe (Guarda Costeira de Sao Tome e Principe, GCSTP), Presidential Guard (2010)

Military service age and obligation
18 years of age (est.) (2004)

Manpower available for military service
Males age 16-49 39,182
Females age 16-49 39,845 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
Males age 16-49 27,310
Females age 16-49 29,279 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
Male 2,076
Female 2,003 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures World Ranking: 145
0.8% of GDP (2006)

Military - note
Sao Tome and Principe's army is a tiny force with almost no resources at its disposal and would be wholly ineffective operating unilaterally; infantry equipment is considered simple to operate and maintain but may require refurbishment or replacement after 25 years in tropical climates; poor pay, working conditions, and alleged nepotism in the promotion of officers have been problems in the past, as reflected in the 1995 and 2003 coups; these issues are being addressed with foreign assistance aimed at improving the army and its focus on realistic security concerns; command is exercised from the president, through the Minister of Defense, to the Chief of the Armed Forces staff (2005)


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  Sao Tome And Principe (Sao Tome):


  GPS points from Sao Tome And Principe (Sao Tome)

Prince's Island Principe

Santa Maria Sao Tome

Praia Pipa Sao Tome

Portinho Principe

San Antonio Principe

Pico Calvario Sao Tome

Abade Principe





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