The African Union (AU) has taken a decisive step in response to the recent military coup in Gabon, announcing the immediate suspension of the country’s membership.
The move comes in the wake of the ouster of President Ali Bongo Ondimba following disputed elections, effectively ending the Bongo family’s long-standing rule, Al Jazeera reports.
The AU’s Peace and Security Council released a statement via its official social media platforms, condemning the military takeover and expressing its strong disapproval of the power shift in the Republic of Gabon. The council further communicated that it has decided to suspend Gabon’s participation in all AU activities, organs, and institutions.
This decision follows a meeting of the council to discuss the unfolding situation in Gabon. The session was chaired by Bankole Adeoye, the African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, representing Nigeria, and Willy Nyamitwe, the current holder of the council’s rotating chair, representing Burundi.
The coup, which transpired just days after contested elections in which President Ali Bongo Ondimba was declared the victor, marks a significant turning point in Gabon’s political trajectory. The abrupt end of the Bongo family’s near-six-decade rule has raised new challenges for a region that has grappled with multiple coups in recent years.
In the aftermath of the coup, General Brice Oligui Nguema, the leader behind the overthrow of the Bongo dynasty, is set to be inaugurated as the transitional president on Monday. The army has revealed that the swearing-in ceremony will take place at the constitutional court. This announcement offers a glimpse into the plans of the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI), the body spearheading the post-coup administration.
The situation in Gabon has prompted international concern and attention, with neighboring countries and global organizations closely monitoring developments. The AU’s decision to suspend Gabon’s membership underlines the organization’s commitment to upholding democratic norms and rejecting unconstitutional changes of power.