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Sanctions against Guinea-Bissau army leaders tightened

Soliders guarding Bissau airport on April 17, five days after the military seized power in a coup d'état Keystone

Switzerland has imposed sanctions against a further 15 high-ranking military officials in Guinea-Bissau in the wake of a coup which deposed the interim government of the West African country in April.

The measure, announced on Friday by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco), brings to 21 the number of Guinea Bissau officials subject to sanctions. They are banned from entering or transiting  through Switzerland and any financial assets they hold in the country will be frozen.

Seco said the new measures were in line with those introduced by the European Union on May 31.

The military coup of April 12 came between the first and second round of voting in presidential elections for a successor to Malam Bacai Sanhá who died in January. A number of prominent politicians were arrested by the military which formed a National Transitional Council in conjunction with opposition parties.

Both the United Nations Security Council and the EU have called on military leaders in Guinea-Bissau to relinquish power to allow for constitutional order to be restored and the democratic electoral process to proceed.

The Swiss government on Friday reiterated its support for these aims and again called on military leaders to step down.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR