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Obama Yanks Trade Benefits From Guinea, Madagascar and Niger

A Guinean protester is arrested on Bloody Monday. SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty Images

President Barack Obama punished three African nations on Wednesday for the anti-democratic actions of their leaders.

By proclamation, he removed trade advantages Guinea, Madagascar and Niger that had been enjoyed under the African Growth and Opportunity Act for failing to make the required political progress under the legislation.

Guinea recently was in headlines after a violent crackdown resulted in the deaths and rapes of hundreds of protesters. (Human Rights Watch recently issued a disturbing report on the government-inspired violence and called for the international community to take action, including trials for crimes against humanity.)

Madagascar's leadership was installed by the military. Niger's president, Mamdou Tandja, earlier this year dissolved parliament.

Meanwhile, Obama added Mauritania to the sub-Saharan nations receiving trade benefits under the legislation, a reward for its political progress.