EU to end Guinea-Bissau security mission

Gen Antonio Indjai - new Guinea-Bissau military chief (file pic) Gen Indjai's mutiny makes it uncertain whether EU-inspired reforms will be carried out

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The EU says it will end its mission to reform Guinea-Bissau's security forces next month because law and order has deteriorated in the West African state.

The existing mission, launched in June 2008, will end on 30 September, an EU statement said on Monday.

"Political instability and the lack of respect for the rule of law... makes it impossible for the EU to deploy a follow-up mission," the EU said.

Army mutineers overthrew the prime minister and military chief in April.

Mutiny leader Gen Antonio Indjai was later appointed head of the armed forces.

The statement from the European Council, representing EU governments, said the EU had "repeatedly expressed its concern regarding the violation of constitutional order, illegal detention of civilian and military leaders and impunity of perpetrators".

Gen Indjai's appointment "constitutes another setback to the process of democratic consolidation and confirms that the conditions for deployment of the new [EU] mission are not met", the statement said.

The EU has been helping Guinea-Bissau put basic legislation in place to enable it to reform its defence, police and judiciary.

Guinea-Bissau is a major transit point for cocaine smuggled from Latin America to Europe.

After the April revolt, the US accused two senior military men from Guinea-Bissau of drug running.

Air force head Ibraima Papa Camara and former navy chief Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto were named "drug kingpins" - a designation triggering financial sanctions on them and a ban on US citizens doing business with them.

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