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African Union suspends Guinea-Bissau after coup

By AFP

ADDIS ABABA (AFP) - The African Union on Tuesday suspended Guinea-Bissau following last week's military coup and said it would request sanctions against the west African nation.

AU Peace and Security Council chief Ramtane Lamamra said that the bloc decided to "suspend with immediate effect Guinea-Bissau in all activities of the African Union until the restoration of constitutional order."

Lamamra urged the AU commission -- the bloc's executive body -- and the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) to consider imposing sanctions against the coup leaders.

"Given the frequency of coup d'etats in Guinea-Bissau, council requests the (AU) commission in consultation with ECOWAS... to submit to it within two weeks a decision or proposals for additional sanctions against the perpetrators of the coup," he said.

He added that travel bans and asset freezes should be considered against the coup leaders and their military and civilian supporters.

The pan-African body has condemned the coup, terming it "outrageous."

Guinea-Bissau's coup leaders have reaffirmed their pledge to restore democratic rule, but continue to detain the ousted prime minister and interim president, Carlos Gomes Junior and Raimundo Pereira, and several former ministers.

Last month, the AU also suspended Mali after renegade soldiers overthrew the government and imposed sanctions on the mutinous troops.