AU Suspends Gabon After Coup D’etat
The African Union (AU) has announced that it has suspended Gabon from all its activities and organs following the military coup that ousted President Ali Bongo Ondimba on Wednesday.
The AU said it strongly condemns the unconstitutional change of power and calls for the restoration of the legitimate government.
AU Peace and Security Council Meets on Gabon Crisis
The AU’s Peace and Security Council (PSC), the body responsible for maintaining peace and security in Africa, held a meeting on Thursday to discuss the situation in Gabon. The meeting was chaired by AU commissioner for political affairs Bankole Adeoye of Nigeria and the current holder of the PSC’s rotating chair, Burundi’s Willy Nyamitwe.
The PSC said on X, formerly Twitter, that it has decided to “immediately suspend” Gabon’s membership in the AU until the constitutional order is restored. It also urged all AU member states and partners to respect the suspension and refrain from any actions that could undermine the efforts to resolve the crisis peacefully.
Gabon Coup Ends Bongo Family’s Long Rule
The coup in Gabon was led by a group of military officers who claimed to have seized power in the name of the people and to save the country from chaos. They said they were acting in response to the disputed presidential election in August, which Bongo won by a narrow margin amid allegations of fraud and irregularities.
Bongo, who has been in power since 2009, is the son of Omar Bongo, who ruled Gabon for 42 years until his death in 2009. The Bongo family has dominated Gabon’s politics since 1967, when Omar Bongo became president after a coup that toppled the country’s first leader, Leon Mba.
The coup in Gabon is the latest in a series of coups that have rocked Africa since 2020, affecting countries such as Chad, Mali, Guinea, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Niger. Nigeria’s recently elected president Bola Tinubu called it a “contagion of autocracy” that threatens democracy and stability in the continent.
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