G-Bissau junta closes air and sea borders

2012-04-16 07:32
Bissau - The new Guinea-Bissau junta announced on Sunday the closure of all air and sea borders, after former colonial power Portugal said it was sending navy ships and a plane for a possible evacuation of its nationals.

The "military command" said in a statement that it had decided to shut down all air and sea access, without saying how long the measures would remain in place.

Earlier on Sunday, Portugal said two navy ships and a military plane were on the way to West Africa to prepare for any eventual repatriation of Portuguese and other nationals from Guinea-Bissau following the coup on Thursday.

According to Lisbon, between 4 000 and 5 000 Portuguese nationals are currently in the country.

"Non-authorised Portuguese ships will not enter into our territorial waters. Guinea Bissau is a sovereign nation," said Fernando Vaz, spokesperson for the parties of the former opposition, following a meeting between them and the junta leaders.

"The Guinea-Bissau army is tasked with defending its territorial integrity," echoed Lieutenant-Colonel Daba na Walna, spokesperson for the putschists.

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