Bissau president and ex-premier freed by soldiers

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 27, 2012 3:49 PM
Bissau president and ex-premier freed by soldiers

BISSAU (Reuters) - Soldiers in Guinea-Bissau have released the country's interim president and leading presidential candidate after seizing them in an April 12 coup, local media and a minister in Ivory Coast said on Friday.

Ex-premier and presidential election front-runner Carlos Gomes Junior and interim President Raimundo Pereira were being flown to Abidjan in Ivory Coast on Friday evening, according to Ivorian minister for African integration Adama Bictogo.

The pair were released a day after West African regional bloc ECOWAS announced the deployment of a force to the country and threatened sanctions against soldiers who resisted ECOWAS demands for the return to civilian rule.

(Reporting by Alberto Dabo in Bissau and Joe Bavier in Abidjan; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Andrew Roche)