Photo: President Azali Assoumani of Comoros, AU Chairman.
Breaking: African Union suspends Gabon over coup
The African Union (AU) has suspended Gabon’s membership in the wake of the coup in the Central African country.
AU’s Peace and Security Council said on Thursday evening that it strongly condemned the take-over of power by the military in Gabon, which deposed President Ali Bongo.
It suspended Gabon’s participation in all activities of the AU and its institutions “with immediate effect until constitutional order is restored in the country.”
The AU suspended Niger Republic’s membership just a few weeks ago after the military took power there at the end of July.
Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea and Sudan have also been suspended since the coups in those countries.
In Brussels, top EU diplomat Josep Borrell said the European Union “rejects any seizure of power by force in Gabon.”
“The challenges facing Gabon must be resolved in accordance with the principles of the rule of law, constitutional order and democracy,” Borrell wrote on Thursday in a statement.
“The country’s peace and prosperity, as well as regional stability, depend on it,” the statement added.
He called for “inclusive and substantive dialogue” instead of force to respect the rule of law, human rights and the will of the Gabonese people.
The military had seized power in Gabon early on Wednesday.
Officers announced on state television that state institutions had been dissolved.
They added that results of the recent election had been annulled as they were fraudulent and the country’s borders were closed.
Shortly before, the electoral authorities had declared Bongo, who had been in office since 2009, the winner of the Aug. 26 election.
Military leaders named the head of the Presidential Guard, Brice Nguema, as the country’s interim leader on Wednesday evening.