Benin pulls out troops, calm returns

Benin announced on Monday it would withdraw its 145 soldiers serving in Guinea Bissau with ECOMOG. In a statement released after a special cabinet session, the government said that with the overthrow of President Joao Bernardo Vieira, the need for a continued ECOMOG presence was "null and void".

The ECOMOG force in Guinea Bissau comprises troops from Benin, The Gambia, Niger and Togo. In an interview published in the `Daily Observer' newspaper in Banjul, Gambian National Army commander Lieutenant Colonel Samsideen Sarr said his troops would remain there until the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) decided otherwise.

ECOMOG (ECOWAS Monitoring Group) troops were deployed in January to police the truce between pro-Vieira forces and those of sacked armed forces chief of staff Brigadier General Ansumane Mane.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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