Capital calm in Guinea-Bissau

April 14, 2012 at 9:12 PM
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BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau, April 14 (UPI) -- The capital of Guinea-Bissau was quiet Saturday, two days after a military coup disrupted the presidential runoff election.

Interim President Raimundo Pereira and former Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Jr., the leader in the first round of the election, remained in military custody, Voice of America reported. Both were arrested Thursday as soldiers seized television stations and government buildings.

A former Portuguese colony, Guinea-Bissau became independent in 1974. Since then, the small country south of Senegal on the west coast of Africa has been through a period of dictatorship and three coups. In 2009, members of the military killed President Joao Bernardo Vieria.

The Military Command, the shadowy group behind the coup, has said it does not want to rule Guinea-Bissau. The group accused the government of making a secret agreement that would have allowed soldiers from Angola, another former Portuguese colony, to attack the Guinea-Bissau forces.

Representatives of most major political parties were trying to agree Saturday on a unity government.

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