14/04/12 01:34 CET
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The United Nations Security Council has condemned an apparent military coup in Guinea-Bissau.
Diplomats have demanded the release of both the president and prime minister of the tiny west African state and called for the former Portuguese colony to return to civilian rule.
Since gaining independence in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has seen a string of bloody revolts.
The coup has left presidential elections unfinished.
Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Jr was expected to win in a run-off later this month after gaining nearly 50 percent of the votes in the first round.
The coup’s leader Daba Na Walna blames a military co-operation with Angola for this latest power grab:
“Things deteriorated when the first weapons of the Angolan mission arrived. They culminated when the Angolan ambassador had the audacity to march into the army headquarters to accuse our military chief of preparing a coup d’Etat.”
Portugal has put its military on alert as Lisbon considers plans to evacuate its citizens.
Foreign Minister Paulo Portas told Portuguese TV: “The government has a duty to have the army ready to to protect our citizens. But we mustn’t confuse that with military action,” he said.
The revolt comes after a similar coup in Mali last month, which lasted barely three weeks.
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