Guinea-Bissau army sets terms after coup

2012-04-14 08:41

Leaders of Guinea-Bissau’s military coup have set terms for a “unity government” amid growing international condemnation of their seizure of the capital halfway through a presidential election.

The coup leaders announced yesterday that the prime minister, interim president and army chief-of-staff had all been deposed hours after the coup attempt was launched late Thursday.

The soldiers also imposed an overnight curfew, called on members of the toppled government to surrender to army command and confirmed that private radio stations had been shut down.

The UN Security Council condemned the military action and urged “the immediate restoration of civilian authority”, US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said after council talks yesterday.

The United States, Canada and Nigeria were among others condemning the military coup.

“We call for the release of all government leaders and urge all parties to reconcile their differences through the democratic process,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Washington also issued a travel warning for Guinea-Bissau, urging American citizens “to shelter in place and avoid the downtown area of Bissau.”

The African Union’s commission chief, Jean Ping, condemned the “outrageous acts which undermine the efforts to stabilise the situation in Guinea-Bissau and tarnish the image of the country and Africa.”

A military source said the arrested prime minister had been taken to army headquarters at San Vincente, 45km north of the capital, but the whereabouts of the president were not known.

West African regional group ECOWAS, still grappling with a putsch and rebellion in nearby Mali, also condemned the coup.

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