W. African leaders slap sanctions on Guinea-Bissau

West African regional bloc ECOWAS announced Tuesday that it has imposed sanctions on Guinea-Bissau after talks in Gambia failed to reach an agreement to restore constitutional rule after a coup.

The statement said the sanctions went into effect Sunday and target junta members who took power last month and their supporters.

They said their representatives at the recent Gambia talks concluded after more than 12 hours of discussion "that it was fruitless to continue as it became obvious that the head of the military junta was not willing to negotiate and clearly prefers to face the consequences."

Last week ECOWAS authorized the deployment of some 600 standby forces to Guinea-Bissau and gave the junta a 72-hour ultimatum to submit to mediation.

The bloc will meet on Thursday to discuss how to enforce their decisions.

Guinea-Bissau was just weeks away from holding a presidential runoff election when soldiers attacked the front-runner's home and arrested him along with the country's interim president.