Guinea Bissau
Guinea Bissau's soldiers leave a news conference at the military headquarters in Bissau

The African Union suspended Guinea Bissau's membership on Tuesday over last week's military coup, adding that the West African country won't be reinstated until army chiefs restore civilian rule.

"The (AU's) Peace and Security Council decides to suspend with immediate effect Guinea Bissau from all activities ... until restoration of constitutional order," commented AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Ramtane Lamamra from Addis Ababa.

In the absence of that constitutional order, the military has been cracking down on protests and undermining the freedoms of the media, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.

"Increasingly repressive measures are being employed by the military as they try to stifle mounting criticism within the country and internationally," said Marisé Castro, Amnesty International's Guinea-Bissau expert.

"Amnesty International calls on the military authorities to respect and protect human rights including the rights to freedom of movement, peaceful assembly and expression."

Guinea Bissau's military leadership are currently in talks with regional mediators, Reuters reported, but they still believe that the AU will eventually understand the necessity for the coup.

"The African Union is doing their job, and we are doing our job," Daba Naualna, a spokesman for the junta, told CNN.

Naualna added that the country's Interim President Raimundo Pereira and former Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Jr. will soon be released from detention. On Friday, a military spokesman told the Associated Press that Gomes Jr. had been arrested because he was helping cocaine traffickers send narcotics through Guinea Bissau into Europe.

The military has also suggested that Gomes and other leaders had made a secret deal to allow Angolan troops to attack the Guinea Bissau army. IHS Global Insight West Africa analyst Martin Roberts told the AP that the military might have been afraid that Angola would disrupt the lucrative drug trade.

On Tuesday, the junta's "transitional" leaders met with representatives from the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, which is working to resolve the crisis and to restore constitutional rule. Additionally, the United Nations and the United States have denounced the coup and called for the immediate return to civilian rule.