EU sanctions Guinea-Bissau coup leaders | News | DW | 03.05.2012
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EU sanctions Guinea-Bissau coup leaders

Guinea-Bissau has been hit with sanctions from the European Union following a coup in April, as the West African bloc ECOWAS turns up the heat on Mali as well.

The European Union announced sanctions against the leaders of the coup in Guinea-Bissau on Thursday, saying six individuals would have EU travel bans implemented against them, as well as asset freezes.

The six individuals, who the European Council said "threaten the peace, security and stability of Guinea-Bissau," are to be named on Friday.

"Today's measures target the leaders of the recent cout d'etat in Guinea-Bissau," said the EU'S foreign policy representative Catherine Ashton in a statement on the Council's website. "The EU strongly condemns it and demands that constitutional order be immediately restored."

Military officers seized power in an April 12 coup, weeks before the second round of a presidential election. Officials from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have indicated that the leader of the junta's enigmatic "Military Command" is General Antonio Indjai, the country's army chief.

Pressure mounting in Africa

Meanwhile, ECOWAS held a crisis summit in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, on Thursday, to discuss a response to the coup in Guinea-Bissau as well as a coup in Mali that took place on March 22.

The bloc threatened tougher actions against the leaders of the coups in both countries.

"The defiance of the two military juntas is leading us to take further steps to implement our organization's decisions," said Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara, who chairs ECOWAS.

On Monday, the bloc imposed sanctions against Guinea-Bissau after negotiations with the country's military junta broke down, raising the prospect of a military confrontation.

At Thursday's meeting, ECOWAS indicated it would be ready to deploy troops to Mali if the country made a request.

"The conference instructed the Economic Community of West African States to prepare the standby force for immediate deployment as soon as Mali asks for it," a statement from the meeting in Dakar.

mz/acb (AFP, dpa, Reuters)