Ecowas slaps sanctions on Guinea-Bissau
The Economic Community of West African States, Ecowas, has implemented targeted and specific sanctions on the military junta and its leaders in Guinea-Bissau, after talks between the junta and the regional bloc over the restoration of civilian rule broke down.
According to an Ecowas statement, the junta’s leader, General Antonio Indjai “is not willing to negotiate and clearly prefers to face the consequences."
In addition, Ecowas negotiators claimed that coup leaders have rejected several important demands, such as the holding of free and fair democratic elections within 12 months.
Earlier, the military said that elections will only be held within a two year time frame. The junta took power on 12 April, between the two rounds of scheduled presidential elections.
Soldiers under the command of Gen. Indjai toppled the government, in reaction to a possible downscaling of the military in terms of size.
Both interim President Raimundo Pereira and former Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior were both arrested and detained by the military after coup; however they were subsequently released and sent to the Ivory Coast.
On 26 April, during an Ecowas emergency summit in Ivory Coast capital, Abidjan, the regional bloc demanded that junta return the country to civilian rule and constitutional order, and to allow 600 regional peacekeeping troops or risk the implementation of sanctions.
However, the deployment of the peacekeeping troops has been delayed due to the developments.
On Thursday, Ecowas leaders will meet again to discuss "all other necessary measures, including the use of force to enforce the decisions of the summit."
Guinea-Bissau has been plagues by a series of military coups, since the country gained independence from Portugal in 1974.
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