BISSAU, May 29, 2012 (AFP) – The withdrawal from Guinea-Bissau of Angolan soldiers, whose presence was cited as the reason for an April coup, has been postponed, a military source told AFP on Tuesday.
The 600-strong military mission “will stay a few more days or maybe even weeks,” an officer with the Guinea-Bissau military said on condition of anonymity.
“It is not easy to withdraw a contingent of several hundred men,” the officer said, adding that the soldiers would eventually leave as planned.
The west African ECOWAS bloc said earlier that the Angolan troop withdrawal would begin on Tuesday.
The Guinea-Bissau army staged a coup in the notoriously unstable country on April 12, saying it did so because of an alleged secret military deal signed by the government with Angola, a fellow ex-Portuguese colony.
ECOWAS had deployed 600 troops to Guinea-Bissau to replace the Angolans and keep order in the country during a one-year transition until fresh elections are held, with the last batches arriving in the country on Sunday.