Guinea-Bissau's junta and opposition parties pressed on with plans for a lengthy transition on Thursday, defying international calls for a return to democracy and brushing off a sanctions threat.

The World Bank and the African Development Bank suspended development programmes to the chronically unstable west African nation in the wake of the April 12 coup which ousted the government.

The calls for a return to constitutional order join an international chorus, and come a day after the junta and opposition parties dissolved government and agreed on a two-year transition period until fresh elections. But after nearly four decades of coups, counter-coups and assassinations in the continuous power struggle between army and state since an independence war, Bissau-Guineans hold little hope that a transition will lead to stability.

The opposition denounced the coup but has negotiated an agreement with the junta.

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