AU Roars Against Coup in Niger: Demands Immediate Restoration of Constitutional Order and Targets Sanctions


The African Union Security Council REJECTS all proposals for military intervention in Niger. Image from Twitter/@MatsangaDr

The press statement released by the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) on August 14, 2023, regarding the military coup d’état in Niger offers a comprehensive and robust response to the situation. The following analysis breaks down the key points and implications of the statement.

Concern Over Resurgence of Military Coups:
The statement underscores the AU’s deep concern over the resurgence of military coups d’état, which are viewed as detrimental to democracy, peace, security, stability, and development across the continent. This signals the AU’s commitment to upholding democratic norms and constitutional order.
Condemnation of the Coup:
The AU unequivocally condemns the military coup that occurred on July 26, 2023, in Niger. It strongly denounces the ousting of a democratically elected president by a faction of military officers. This condemnation aligns with the AU’s stance against unconstitutional changes of government.
Support for ECOWAS Initiatives:
The AU welcomes and supports the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to address the political situation in Niger. This highlights the collaborative approach of regional organizations in tackling crises and underscores ECOWAS’s role as a key actor in the region.
Suspension of Niger from AU Activities:
In line with AU instruments, the statement announces the immediate suspension of the Republic of Niger from all AU activities and institutions until constitutional order is effectively restored. This punitive measure underscores the AU’s commitment to upholding democratic principles and its rejection of unconstitutional changes of government.
International Rejection of Illegitimate Regime:
The AU calls on member states and the international community to reject the unconstitutional change of government in Niger and to refrain from actions that could legitimize the illegal regime. This emphasizes the importance of international consensus against such actions to discourage coup attempts.
Focus on Human Rights:
The AU expresses concern about the human rights violations associated with the coup and emphasizes the immediate and unconditional release of President Mohamed Bazoum and other detainees. This demonstrates the AU’s commitment to protecting human rights even in times of political crisis.
Targeted Sanctions and Punitive Measures:
The statement calls for the compilation of a list of military junta members and their supporters involved in the coup and human rights violations for targeted sanctions and individual punitive measures. This reflects the AU’s intent to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
Regional Diplomatic Efforts:
The AU commends and supports ECOWAS’s diplomatic efforts for the peaceful restoration of constitutional order in Niger. This showcases the AU’s endorsement of diplomatic solutions and its recognition of the regional organization’s role in resolving the crisis.
Peaceful Transition:
The AU urges the military junta to prioritize Niger’s interests and swiftly return to the barracks, submitting to civilian authorities in accordance with the Constitution. This demonstrates the AU’s commitment to a peaceful transition of power and restoration of constitutional order.
External Interference by Alien Actors
The statement strongly rejects external interference by any non-African actors or countries in the peace and security affairs of the continent. This reaffirms the principle of African agency and sovereignty in addressing regional challenges.

In conclusion, the AU’s press statement on the Niger situation reflects its commitment to democracy, peace, and security in Africa. It underscores the importance of regional cooperation, human rights, and the rejection of unconstitutional changes of government. The statement aligns with the AU’s overall mission of creating a prosperous, integrated, and peaceful Africa.

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