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ECOWAS peacekeeping troops to leave Guinea-Bissau

Africa ECOWAS Soldiers 28 12 10 ECOWAS peacekeeping troops to leave Guinea-Bissau
ECOMOG soldiers stand ready to welcome French troops in Tiebissoude, 300kms from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, February 18, 2003. A force of over 1,200 ECOMOG soldiers will replace the French troops to ensure the protection of civilians on the front line between rebels and government troops. West African states assembled the ECOMOG force to help restore peace under the leadership of Senegal. REUTERS/Luc Gnago LG/

The mission of a West African peacekeeping force in Guinea-Bissau has come to an end after eight years in the country.

They were deployed by regional bloc Ecowas in 2012 following a military coup against Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior after a disputed presidential election.

The force of about 1,000 soldiers was mandated to protect heads of institutions and public buildings.

The authorities say Guinea-Bissau’s armed forces will now take over to ensure order and stability in the country.

Newly elected President Umaro Sissoco Embalo was confirmed on Monday by the country’s Supreme Court following an appeal lodged by his opponents eight months ago.

The country has become a major staging post for gangs smuggling cocaine from Latin America to Europe.

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