• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Commonwealth announces partial suspension of Gabon after military coup


The Commonwealth has taken action following the August 30 military coup in Gabon by announcing a partial suspension of the nation. This decision was reached during the 63rd Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) meeting held in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, where member state developments were discussed.

The meeting, chaired by Samoa’s Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Tourism, Fiamē Naomi Mata’afa, featured ministers from Barbados, Canada, Ghana, Mauritius, Rwanda, and representatives from Belize, Malaysia, and Malta.

The ministers collectively expressed their concerns, strongly condemning the unconstitutional removal of Gabon’s elected government and advocating for the restoration of democracy.

Read also:Gabon junta frees deposed Bongo from detention, says he can seek medical care abroad

“In accordance with the steps set out in the Millbrook Commonwealth Action Programme on the Harare Declaration, the Ministers decided to partially suspend Gabon from the Commonwealth pending the restoration of democracy,” it said.

“This partial suspension entails suspension from the Councils of the Commonwealth, and the exclusion of Gabon from all Commonwealth intergovernmental meetings and events, including ministerial meetings and CHOGM.”

The ministers stipulated that if significant progress is not achieved within a two-year period, there would be deliberation on the possibility of a complete suspension of Gabon, the statement added.

The group had also called on Secretary-General Patricia Scotland to maintain her Good Offices engagement with Gabon, which includes offering technical assistance, in order to address the situation and facilitate the return of democracy in Gabon.”

“The Group called upon Gabon, as a Commonwealth member, to uphold the values and principles of the Commonwealth and to hold credible elections as soon as possible and within a maximum of two years from 30 August 2023,” the statement said.

“The Group called upon Gabon to guarantee the personal integrity, safety, health, and human rights of former President Ali Bongo Ondimba, his family members, and members of his Government.”