AU Suspends Burkina Faso over Military Coup
By Adedapo Adesanya
The African Union (AU) has suspended Burkina Faso in response to the January 24 military coup that ousted President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.
The bloc’s 15-member Peace and Security Council said on Twitter it had voted “to suspend the participation of #BurkinaFaso in all AU activities until the effective restoration of constitutional order in the country”.
Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, chair of the African Union Commission, had already condemned the coup the day it happened and before it was clear who was taking charge.
Business Post had reported that the West African bloc ECOWAS suspended Burkina Faso on Friday and sent a delegation to meet with the ruling junta Saturday.
The coup is the latest bout of turmoil to strike Burkina Faso, a landlocked state that has suffered chronic instability since gaining independence from France in 1960.
A jihadist insurgency that spread over Mali’s border has killed more than 2,000 people and forced 1.5 million to flee their homes since 2015.
Mali and Guinea, also in West Africa, have also seen coups in the past 18 months that have prompted AU suspensions.
In opening remarks at Friday’s summit, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo, the acting ECOWAS chairman, acknowledged the organisation has work to do convincing people of the benefits of democracy.
The AU has also suspended Sudan following a coup there in October.
The spate of coups is expected to be a major point of discussion at the AU summit in Addis Ababa this weekend, diplomats say.