Guinea Bissau Junta Reject Calls for Interim President’s Return

Posted May 1st, 2012 at 1:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Guinea-Bissau's ruling junta says talks with regional bloc ECOWAS stalled because it rejected the proposed return of the country's interim president.

On Monday, the Economic Community of West African States imposed diplomatic and economic sanctions on the country and its military rulers after they refused to make a written commitment to restore constitutional rule.

A junta spokesman told reporters Tuesday that the junta agreed on all points with ECOWAS except the issue of ousted interim president Raimundo Pereira.

ECOWAS has called for Mr. Pereira to resume power and manage the return to civilian rule.

But the junta spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Daba na Walna, said the interim president can not effectively rule soldiers who ousted him. He said the junta wants further discussion with ECOWAS on the issue.

He made no mention of the 600 troops ECOWAS has said it will deploy to Guinea-Bissau.

The April 12 coup derailed a presidential run-off election to replace the late president Malam Bacai Sanha.

Guinea-Bissau has endured numerous coups and coup attempts over the past 30 years and has become a transit point for international drug traffickers.