African Union imposes sanctions on Guinea junta

(Adds details and background)

ABUJA, Oct 29 (Reuters) - The African Union said on Thursday it was imposing immediate sanctions against the leaders of Guinea's ruling military junta, which took power in a coup last December after the death of veteran leader Lansana Conte.

"These sanctions are targeted at the civilians and military personnel that are perpetuating these unconstitutional acts in Guinea," Lamamra Ramtane, AU commissioner for peace and security, told a meeting of the African body in Nigeria.

"It is not intended to target the people of Guinea," he said, specifying the sanctions would include such measures as the freezing of bank accounts and travel visas rather than trade sanctions against the country.

He said the measures would be directed against the leadership of the CNDD, the ruling junta in the West African country led by Captain Moussa Dadis Camara.

International pressure and internal dissent have grown in Guinea, the world's top supplier of bauxite, since live ammunition was used against anti-government protesters in a stadium a month ago. A local rights group said 157 people were killed.

The United States, France and the European Union have called on Camara to step down and the International Criminal Court has said it is investigating the killings.

The EU agreed on Tuesday to impose an arms embargo on the West African country, and restrict the travel and freeze assets of those involved in the killing of the protesters. [ID:nLR227754]

The U.S. government has also restricted travel to the United States by some members of the junta and the government, as well as others who support actions that "undermine the restoration of democracy and the rule of law". [ID:nN29358095]

The AU had threatened sanctions if Camara, who promised to rein in the army and transfer power to civilian rule through elections, refuses to opt out of a poll set for January. (For full Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit:

) (Reporting by Randy Fabi; Writing by Nick Tattersall; editing by Andrew Dobbie)