EU imposes sanctions on Guinea-Bissau coup leaders

BRUSSELS Thu May 3, 2012 9:48am EDT

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union on Thursday imposed sanctions on the leaders of a recent coup in Guinea-Bissau, adding to measures taken earlier this week by West African nations.

The Council of the European Union, which represents EU governments, banned six people, who it said threatened the peace, security and stability of Guinea-Bissau, from entering the bloc and froze their assets.

The Council said in a statement that the list of individuals subject to the EU sanctions would be published on May 4.

"Today's measures target the leaders of the recent coup d'etat in Guinea-Bissau," EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said in the statement. "The EU strongly condemns it and demands that constitutional order be immediately restored."

On Monday, West African regional bloc ECOWAS imposed sanctions on Guinea-Bissau's military rulers and threatened to use force to dislodge them, after talks to restore constitutional order in the coup-stricken nation broke down. Details of those sanctions were not immediately available.

Guinea-Bissau has been run by soldiers since an April 12 coup that derailed presidential elections and set back Western efforts to combat drug cartels using the country as a transit hub for cocaine bound for Europe.

(Reporting By Sebastian Moffett)

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