African Union suspends Burkina Faso over coup

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The African Union announced on Monday that it has suspended Burkina Faso from all activities of the 55-member continental body following a recent military coup that toppled the government led by President Roch Marc Christian Kabor.

The bloc’s powerful Peace and Security Council, which has the legal authority to suspend countries involved in unconstitutional power grabs, declared on Twitter that Burkina Faso’s participation in all activities had been revoked until the constitutional order is restored.

“Council decides in line w/ the relevant AU instruments (AU Constitutive Act; AUPSC Protocol; African Charter on Democracy, Elections & Governance), to suspend the participation of #BurkinaFaso in all AU activities until the effective restoration of constitutional order in the country,” the union said on Twitter.

Following the coup last Monday, another major West African regional bloc also removed Burkina Faso from its governing organizations.

Kabore was detained on Monday and later forced to resign.

Since the takeover by the military, which calls itself the Patriotic Movement for Liberation and Restoration, those close to the deposed president have been arrested.

Media reports said the president of the National Assembly, Alassane Bala Sakande, Prime Minister Lassina Zerbo, and other high-ranking members of Kabore’s government have been barred from leaving their homes.

The military junta led by Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba pledged that it would propose a return to constitutional order “within a reasonable time frame.”

However, the military rulers have not yet set a timetable for the return to civilian rule.

African armed forces have recently returned to the continent’s politics, flaunting weapons and overthrowing civilian governments in Burkina Faso, Mali, Sudan, Chad, and Guinea, raising fears that the continent’s two decades of democratic progress may be undone.