African Union suspends Egypt

5 July 2013

The African Union’s (AU’s) Peace and Security Council has decided to suspend the participation of Egypt in AU activities until constitutional order is restored in that country.

The decision, which in is line with the AU’s strict rules against unconstitutional changes of government, was decided at a meeting of the Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Friday.

The meeting was called after Judge Adli Mansour was sworn as Egypt’s caretaker president on Thursday, a day after Mohamed Morsi was removed from the presidency by the country’s army.

This followed a week of nationwide protests by millions of anti-government demonstrators accusing Morsi of a grab of power. Morsi is allegedly under home arrest at the Republican Guards Club. On Thursday, there was still a heavy security presence in Cairo, with tanks lining the streets.

The army has put forward a roadmap for the transitional period, including forming a national government with broadened powers, suspending the current constitution, and forming a commission to prepare constitutional amendments.

The AU’s Peace and Security Council said in a statement on Friday: “The council reiterates the AU’s condemnation and rejection of any illegal seizure of power. The overthrow of the democratically elected president does not conform to the relevant provisions of Egypt’s constitution, and therefore falls under the definition of an unconstitutional change of government.”

Earlier, the South African government said that, in line with the African Union Constitutive Act, it was opposed to all forms of unconstitutional changes of government.

South Africa has been urging the concerned parties in Egypt to resolve their differences through dialogue and consultation.

“The government is of the view that all efforts should be made to avoid violent confrontation between contending parties,” the International Relations and Cooperation Department said on Thursday.

“Instability in Egypt may have far-reaching consequences on the already precarious situation in the country, as well as the North African region and Middle East.”