The body said it “strongly condemns the military coup” that led to the overthrow of President Ali Bongo Ondimba.
The African Union’s Peace and Security Council said it had decided to “immediately suspend Gabon’s membership” in the wake of the military coup in the country this week.
The body said on the X website, previously Twitter, that it “strongly condemns the seizure of power by the army in the Republic of Gabon” and decided to “immediately suspend Gabon’s participation in all activities of the African Union, its organs and institutions.”
The announcement came after a council meeting on the situation in Gabon in the aftermath of Wednesday’s coup in the wake of disputed elections that declared President Ali Bongo Ondimba the winner.
She added that the meeting was chaired by the African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Pankole Adwey of Nigeria, and the current Chair of the Council, Willy Nyamitwe, of Burundi.
The takeover ended nearly six decades of Bongo family rule and created a new dilemma for a region that has struggled to deal with eight coups since 2020.
The recently elected President of Nigeria, Paula Tinubu, called it “the infection of authoritarianism”.
“My fears have been confirmed in Gabon that imitation cats will start doing the same thing until they are stopped,” Tinubu, who chairs the main regional group for West Africa (ECOWAS), said Thursday.
The army said the general who overthrew the Bongo family in Gabon will be sworn in on Monday as transitional president, as the opposition called for recognition of its candidate who won the weekend’s elections.
Colonel Ulrich Manvumbi Manvumbi, a spokesman for the new regime, told state television that the army had sought to reassure donors that they would “respect all commitments” at home and abroad and “gradually intervene” in the transitional institutions.
The new leader, Gen. Brice Olegie Nguema, will be sworn in at the Constitutional Court, the spokesperson said, providing the first indication of how the Transition and Institutional Restoration Commission will operate in the wake of Wednesday’s coup.
The Economic Community of Central African States condemned the coup, saying in a statement that it plans to convene an “imminent” meeting of heads of state to decide how to respond. It did not set a date.
Gabon’s top brass announced their coup before dawn on Wednesday, shortly after the electoral commission announced Bongo had won a third term after Saturday’s vote.
Later on Wednesday, video emerged of Bongo being held at his residence, pleading for help from international allies, but apparently unaware of what was going on around him. The officers also announced that Nguema, the former head of the presidential guard, had been chosen as head of state.
Working to Contain the “Contagion of Tyranny”: Economic Community of West African States
On Wednesday, Tinubu said he was working closely with other African leaders to contain what he called the “contagion of authoritarianism” spreading across Africa.
The Economic Community of West African States threatened military intervention in Niger after the coup that took place there on July 26 and imposed sanctions, but the military government did not back down. Military leaders elsewhere have also resisted international pressure, as in Mali. They managed to retain power and some even gained popular support.
The Central African political bloc, the Economic Community of Central African States, condemned the coup in a statement, saying it plans to convene an “imminent” meeting of heads of state to decide how to respond. It did not set a date.
Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque, based in Dakar, Senegal, said there had been a “rather muted reaction” from CEMAC – partly due to “fear in the region of contagion coups” among member states. Countries with “bongo-like systems”.
“You have the president [Teodoro] Obiang [Nguema Mbasogo] And in Equatorial Guinea, who has been in power since 1979. Then in Cameroon, the president [Paul] Haq said that Biya, who has been in power since 1982, was elected repeatedly during these presidential elections, which, according to critics, were marred by fraud.
These events follow coups in the past four years in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger, highlighting the limited influence of African powers once the military takes power.
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