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Page last updated at 12:57 GMT, Friday, 22 August 2008 13:57 UK

Paraguay leader replaces military

Fernando Lugo
The left-leaning Mr Lugo was sworn in to the presidential office on 15 August

The new Paraguayan President, Fernando Lugo, has replaced the commanders of the army, navy, and air force.

The dismissals follow the removal earlier this week of the head of the national police by Mr Lugo - a centre-left former Roman Catholic bishop.

Correspondents say his actions form part of a campaign promise to reform the impoverished South American country's military and police.

Mr Lugo won elections in April, ending more than 61 years of right-wing rule.

Presidential spokesman Augusto Dos Santos told the Associated Press that Mr Lugo, who was sworn in on 15 August, had signed 30 decrees naming new commanders of the armed forces.

The decrees do not mention the reason for the appointments, but the president promised last week to reform the military.

The former bishop said soldiers would carry out humanitarian tasks for the poor and "never again ... be used to repress or harass" people.


SEE ALSO
Paraguayan Indian named minister
19 Aug 08 |  Americas
Opposition victorious in Paraguay
21 Apr 08 |  Americas
Power struggles loom in Paraguay
21 Apr 08 |  Business
Profile: Fernando Lugo
14 Aug 08 |  Americas
Country profile: Paraguay
15 Aug 08 |  Country profiles

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