Africa Spike in military coups harms continent’s image, says African Union chairperson

Spike in military coups harms continent’s image, says African Union chairperson

The Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Moussa Faki Mahamat said Wednesday that the recent surge in military coups has harmed Africa’s achievements for democratic transitions and has affected the image of the continent.

Despite the expansion of peace and constitutionalism in Africa, the multiplication of coups was of serious concern that has threatened the democratic transition of the continent that also suffers from terrorism in the Sahel region, he said.

“As we are poised to mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of the AU, the spike in the unconstitutional takeover of power does not project a good image,” he said.” African instruments and laws that deter what threatens the continent must be activated.”

His remarks came at the opening of the 40th Ordinary Session of the AU Executive Council which began a two-day meeting at its headquarters in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.

The meeting of African foreign ministers, officially called the Executive Council, will be followed by a summit of heads of state and government that will convene in person for the first time in three years. In-person meetings of the group were canceled since 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The two-day meetings will begin Saturday.

Surge in military coups

The summit of the 55-member Pan African body comes on the heels of a surge in military coups on the continent.

Most recently when armed men attempted Tuesday to overthrow Guinea-Bissau’s President Umaro Sissoco Embalo, who described the assault as” an attack on democracy.”

Mahamat condemned the attempt to topple the Embalo government.

The failed coup in Guinea-Bissau came after successful military coups in Burkina Faso, Sudan, Chad, Niger, and Mali triggering fears of further proliferation of military takeovers on the continent.

Senegal’s Foreign Minister Aissata Tall Sall, whose country is expected to assume the presidency of the AU for a one-year term, said the summit will act swiftly against military coups and will make sure of the continuation of democratic transition for the coming generation.

Burning issues

The Executive Council will discuss numerous issues, including, COVID 19, climate change, food security, institutional reform, and prepare a draft resolution for heads of state and governments.

In addition, military coups, terrorism, and conflicts in Ethiopia and other parts of the continent are expected to be featured on the agenda.

The AU’s decision to grant observer status to Israel last July triggered a strong objection from Algeria, Egypt, Comoros, Tunisia, Djibouti, Mauritania, Libya, and South Africa who accused the AU chairperson of an unlawful decision.

The Executive Council agreed to present the issue at the summit.

According to a source, countries objecting to the AU decision would once again present their case and the issue would be debated.

Previous articleDeath toll in refugee camp attack in DR Congo climbs to 50
Next articleBurkina Faso court resumes Sankara murder trial