The African Union’s Peace and Security Council has announced the immediate suspension of Gabon following a military coup in the country. The council strongly condemned the takeover and suspended Gabon’s participation in AU activities. The coup ended the Bongo family’s long-standing rule, posing a challenge for a region that has faced several coups in recent years.
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 until the restoration of constitutional order in the country, in line with AU instruments."
Nigerian President Bola Tinubu expressed concerns about the spread of autocracy and called for action to prevent further coups. Tinubu, who chairs West Africa’s main regional body ECOWAS, said on Thursday:
"My fear has been confirmed in Gabon that copycats will start doing the same thing until it is stopped."
The military has stated that General Brice Oligui Nguema who led the coup will be sworn in as transitional president, while the opposition demands recognition of their candidate as the winner of the recent elections.
ECCAS, the political bloc for Central Africa, condemned the coup and plans to hold a meeting of heads of state to determine the response. However, reactions from regional organisations have been relatively muted, partly due to concerns about a potential contagion effect among countries with similar regimes. The recent history of coups in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Niger underscores the limited influence of African powers once the military seizes control.