The African Union on Thursday, August 31, suspended Gabon from participating in all its activities, organs and institutions until the restoration of constitutional order in the country.
The announcement was made after an AU Peace and Security Council meeting that took place on Thursday. The meeting of the African Union Commission was headed by Bankole Adeoye, the head of political affairs for the African bloc, and Willy Nyamitwe, the current holder of the council’s rotating chair.
This came after soldiers ousted President Ali Bongo and installed a general as head of state. Senior officers in Gabon announced their coup before dawn on Wednesday, August 30, shortly after an election body declared that Bongo had won a third term after Saturday’s election which was marred by irregularities. The junta declared the vote null and void.
The takeover ends the Bongo family dynasty’s almost six decades in power and creates a new problem for a region that has struggled to deal with eight coups since 2020.
The events follow coups in the past four years in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger, erasing democratic gains since the 1990s and raising concerns among foreign powers with regional strategic interests. The coups also showed the limited leverage of African authorities once the military takes over.