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Freedom for Guinea-Bissau leaders seized in coup

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Freedom for Guinea-Bissau leaders seized in coup

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Guinea-Bissau’s leaders are enjoying their first taste of freedom after being released by rebel soldiers who seized them in a coup.

Interim President Raimundo Pereira and the man tipped to replace him in elections, Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior, were flown to safety in Ivory Coast.

The pair’s liberation follows an ultimatum from West African regional organisation ECOWAS.

Coup leaders say they now also accept the planned deployment to Guinea-Bissau of hundreds of soldiers sent by the power bloc. Faced with a threat of sanctions, the junta has also agreed to demands for a 12 month transition to civilian rule.

The militay uprising on April 12, over alleged plans to reduce the size of the army, took place half way through elections in the former Portuguese colony.