The African Union has condemned a recent “wave” of military coups in the continent, which has resulted into the suspension of an unprecedented number of member states from the bloc, a senior official said on Sunday.
This was stated during the summit held by AU. The putsches were among the main issues expected to be discussed at the summit, along with the AU’s ties to Israel and its response to a grinding war in the north of host country Ethiopia.
Less than two weeks before the summit began Saturday, Burkina Faso became the fourth country to be suspended by the AU after disgruntled soldiers toppled President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.
Meanwhile, Guinea, Mali and Sudan are also currently on suspension.
“Every African leader in the assembly has condemned unequivocally… the wave of unconstitutional changes of government,” Bankole Adeoye, head of the AU’s Peace and Security Council, told a press conference Sunday.
“Do your research: At no time in the history of the African Union have we had four countries in one calendar year, in 12 months, been suspended,” Adeoye said.
While Adeoye touted the AU’s use of suspensions to punish coup leaders, analysts noted that the body must be more proactive to prevent putsches.
“It is only when crisis hits that we say, ‘Gosh, how come this country is falling apart like this so quickly?’” Solomon Dersso, founder of the AU-focused Amani Africa think-tank, told AFP this week.
Israel debate paused
Meanwhile, leaders have agreed to suspend debate on Faki’s controversial decision to accept the accreditation of Israel, postponing a potentially divisive vote.
The AU normally prizes consensus, but it was unclear how a vote would have fared, with a two-thirds majority required to overrule Faki.