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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ecuador's military chiefs resign

BBC, April , 2008
Ecuadorean Army Commander Guillermo Vasconez (L), Defence Minister Wellington Sandoval (C) and Air Force Commander Jorgue Gavela during a press conference on 4 March, 2008
Gen Vasconez (L) said the president had questioned the military's behaviour

Ecuador's top four military commanders have resigned after the president accused the military of aiding the US in operations against Farc rebels.

General Guillermo Vasconez, the head of the army, said all four had resigned because President Rafael Correa had questioned the military's behaviour.

The resignations came hours after Defence Minister Wellington Sandoval stepped down without explanation.

Mr Correa claimed last week the CIA had been manipulating his spy agencies.

The commanders of the army, navy and air force, as well as the chief of staff, had all stood down, Gen Vasconez said.

"We have sent the president our resignation letters... because of the questioning of the behaviour of the military and I don't agree with that," said Gen Vasconez.

Ecuador is in the midst a diplomatic row with neighbouring Colombia following a raid by its forces on rebels inside Ecuador last month.

Farc guerrilla leader Raul Reyes was among 25 people killed in the attack, which sparked fears of a regional war.

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