News24

Angola denies troops role in Bissau coup

2012-04-26 22:11

Luanda - Angola on Thursday denied its troops had any role in Guinea-Bissau's coup, as the parliament in Luanda agreed to the the recall of about 600 soldiers from the poor and unstable west African nation.

"The presence of Angolan troops in Guinea-Bissau was essentially based on a bilateral co-angola, guineaoperation pact to train soldiers of the army," junior defence minister Salviano Sequeira told AFP.

"This can neither be done with toys nor with wooden arms. There was no interference nor did Angolan troops overstep their brief," he said.

The Angolan parliament on Wednesday approved the recall of the soldiers, deployed in March last year for a training programme. Both Angola and Guinea-Bissau are former Portuguese colonies.

The Guinea-Bissau army said it had staged a coup on April 12 because of an alleged secret military deal signed by the government with Angola.

"This accord aims to legitimise the presence of foreign troops, namely the Angolan military mission, in order to protect the government in times of crisis," a statement read out on radio said.

The soldiers who took control on April 12 ahead of a run-off presidential election have sought to strike a deal with opposition parties for a two-year transition period that would exclude the former ruling party and its allies.