African Union suspends Gabon’s membership after military coup


The African Union’s Peace and Security Council said it has decided to “immediately suspend” Gabon following the military coup in the country this week.

The body said on X, formerly Twitter, that it “strongly condemns the military takeover of power in the Republic of Gabon” and has decided “to immediately suspend the participation of Gabon in all activities of the AU, its organs and institutions”.

The announcement came after a meeting of the council on the situation in Gabon following Wednesday’s coup that followed disputed elections in which President Ali Bongo Ondimba was declared the winner.

It said the meeting was chaired by African Union commissioner for political affairs Bankole Adeoye of Nigeria and the current holder of the council’s rotating chair, Burundi’s Willy Nyamitwe.

The takeover ended the Bongo family’s almost six decades in power and created a new conundrum for a region that has struggled to deal with eight coups since 2020.

Nigeria’s recently elected president Bola Tinubu called it a “contagion of autocracy”.

“My fear has been confirmed in Gabon that copy cats will start doing the same thing until it is stopped,” Tinubu, who chairs West Africa’s main regional body ECOWAS, said on Thursday.

The general who overthrew Gabon’s Bongo dynasty will be sworn in on Monday as transitional president, the army said, as the opposition called for its candidate to be recognised as the winner of weekend elections.

The military sought to reassure donors they would “respect all commitments” at home and abroad and “phase in” transitional institutions, Colonel Ulrich Manfoumbi Manfoumbi, spokesman for the new regime, said on state television.

The swearing-in of new leader General Brice Oligui Nguema will take place at the constitutional court, said the spokesman, providing the first indication of how the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI) would operate following Wednesday’s putsch.