Coup: African Union Suspends Gabon

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The African Union (AU) has taken action following the recent coup in Gabon, suspending the country’s membership. The AU’s Peace and Security Council issued a statement on Thursday evening, strongly condemning the military takeover in Gabon, which resulted in the removal of President Ali Bongo from power.

As a consequence of this suspension, Gabon is excluded from participating in all AU activities and engagement with AU institutions, effective immediately, and this suspension will remain in place until constitutional order is reinstated in the country.

This move follows a recent trend of the AU suspending the memberships of countries where coups have occurred. Just a few weeks prior, Niger Republic faced a similar suspension when the military assumed power there at the end of July. Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, and Sudan have also faced AU suspensions following coups in those nations.

In addition to the AU’s stance, Josep Borrell, the top diplomat of the European Union (EU), expressed the EU’s rejection of any seizure of power by force in Gabon from Brussels.

“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.

According to dpa, 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 Clotaire Oligui Nguema, as the country’s interim leader on Wednesday evening.