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G.Bissau will 'defend itself' if foreign troops sent: junta
by Staff Writers
Bissau (AFP) April 20, 2012

Guinea-Bissau's junta said Friday it would not accept the presence of United Nations troops in the country, after calls for a peace force to bring down the military rulers.

"Guinea-Bissau will not accept an intervention force because the situation does not require it. If a force is sent, the country will defend its territorial integrity," Lieutenant-Colonel Daba Na Walna told journalists.

Portugal and Angola on Thursday backed calls by ousted foreign minister Mamadu Saliu Djalo who begged the Security Council to send a UN-mandated stabilisation mission to the coup-prone nation.

"An intervention force assumes the presence of warring parties which is not the case," the junta spokesman said.

In the latest coup in the west African nation, soldiers seized power on April 12 just two weeks before a run-off presidential election, capturing the favourite, former prime minister Carlos Gomes Junior.

They justified their takeover saying the presence of a large contingent of Angolan forces was undermining the army.

The junta since struck a deal with opposition parties and has set up a two-year transition government, denounced as "illegal" by west African States who want democracy restored.

UN diplomats said the Security Council was unlikely to back a force, however members "called for the restoration of democratic institutions and the release of all government officials who were arrested by the junta."

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