The African Union has suspended Guinea after last week’s military coup in the West African nation. Guinea would remain suspended “until the return of constitutional order in that country,” the 53-member bloc said in a statement from its Ethiopian base.

guinea-1Junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara seized power after the death of long-serving President Lansana Conte, attracting international condemnation. But many Guineans back the army’s move after many years of misrule.

Guinea’s temporary exclusion from the AU was decided on Monday during a meeting of the body’s Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa, where the organisation is based. But the African Union decided not to apply sanctions and said it would work closely with the coup plotters, to try to bring Guinea back to constitutionality.

The BBC’s Elizabeth Blunt in Addis Ababa says although it still counts several former coup plotters within its own ranks, the African Union’s rules state quite plainly that governments which take power by unconstitutional means will be suspended from the organisation.

The temporary exclusion would stand even if the people of Guinea were welcoming the takeover, the African Union said. Before the meeting, an AU official told AFP news agency that suspending Guinea was the organisation’s only option.

“Coups will only exacerbate the continent’s existing problems and there is no time to tolerate such actions,” said the official, who did not want to be named.



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