AU likely to suspend Egypt membership

AU likely to suspend Egypt membership
Fri Jul 5, 2013 12:30:22

The African Union is likely to suspend Egypt after the "unconstitutional" removal of President Mohamed Morsi by the army, AU officials say.

The AU's Peace and Security Council (PSC) will discuss the Egyptian situation on Friday and, according to an AU source, is likely to implement the usual response to any interruption of constitutional rule by a member state, and suspend it.

The AU issued a statement saying said the organization's head, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, "observes that the removal of ... Morsi was in violation of the provisions of the Egyptian Constitution and falls under the AU doctrine on unconstitutional changes of Government." 

It said the PSC "will deliberate on the situation in Egypt and take the required decisions."

The AU source, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters, "The belief is that the doctrine will be applied, which is suspension for any country where an unconstitutional change has taken place."

Ramtane Lamamra, the head of the PSC, also said, "We intend to dispatch a mission and urge the Egyptian authorities to establish dialogue."

In the March, the AU suspended the Central African Republic after rebels overthrew the government. In recent years, the AU has suspended Madagascar and Mali for similar reasons. Mali's suspension has since been lifted.

The AU's position on Egypt was echoed by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

"We did have an elected government elected through a due democratic process, so what is happening currently in Egypt is indeed a matter of grave concern not just to us in Africa, but should be a matter of great concern to any true believer of a democratic process," Kenyatta, whose own election victory in March was contested in the courts but upheld, told reporters.

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