The African Union’s Peace and Security Council has swiftly responded to the recent military coup in Gabon by announcing the “immediate suspension” of Gabon’s membership in the organization. The council, which expressed strong condemnation for the military’s seizure of power, has suspended Gabon from participating in all African Union activities, organs, and institutions.
The decision follows a meeting of the council to assess the situation in Gabon, triggered by the coup that occurred after disputed elections where President Ali Bongo Ondimba was declared the winner. The meeting was chaired by the African Union commissioner for political affairs, Bankole Adeoye of Nigeria, and the current chair of the council, Willy Nyamitwe of Burundi.
The military coup ended the six-decade-long rule of the Bongo family, presenting a new challenge for a region that has grappled with multiple coups since 2020. Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, who chairs West Africa’s ECOWAS, called the situation a “contagion of autocracy” and expressed concerns about the spread of such actions in the region.
The military announced that General Brice Oligui Nguema would be sworn in as the transitional president on Monday, while the opposition demanded recognition of their candidate as the rightful winner of the recent elections. The military also sought to reassure donors that they would uphold commitments at home and abroad while transitioning to new institutions.