Africa Union suspends Gabon from its activities following coup

The African Union logo is seen outside the AU headquarters building in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. [Reuters]

The African Union (AU) has suspended Gabon from all its activities after a military power takeover on Wednesday, August 30.

In a statement dated Friday, September 1, the AU demanded the immediate release of President Ali Bongo and the restoration of order in the country.

through an election that will be monitored by the union.

"AU strongly condemns the August 30 military coup in Gabon which ousted President Ali Bongo Ondimba. It is for that reason that the union has decided to immediately suspend the participation of Gabon in all activities of the AU and its organs and institutions until the restoration of constitutional order in the country through a credible election that would be observed by the AU Election Observer Mission and the concerned region," the institution said.

"The Union further demands the immediate release and guarantee of the human rights, personal integrity, safety, and health of President Ali Bongo Ondimba, his family members, and members of his Government."

Further, AU demanded that the military junta led by General Oligui Nguema return to the barracks and refrain from interfering with any political procession in the country failure to which the Union would impose sanctions against them.

The statement comes two days after military officers in Gabon announced a move to take over power and named General Oliugi as the transitional president.

The coup happened hours after Bongo was announced the winner of the presidential polls, which would have seen him extend his family's 53 years in power.

According to the junta, the elections lacked transparency therefore Bongo's win was illegal.

Bongo was placed under house arrest while all the borders in Gabon remain closed.

This is the second coup in Western Africa this year with the first occuring in Niger in July.