AU suspends membership of unrest-hit Sudan

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA - MARCH 18: People walk through the main lobby at the headquarters of the African Union (AU) on March 18, 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ethiopia, with an estimated 91 million inhabitants, is the second most populated country in Africa and the per capita income is $1,200. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The African Union (AU) on Wednesday announced it has suspended Sudan’s membership in the bloc.

In a press statement, the peace and security council of the AU said Sudan’s membership has been suspended due to Monday’s “unconstitutional change of government”, which it said was an affront to the shared values and democratic norms of the continental body.

The statement said the AU has decided in line with relevant instruments, to suspend, with immediate effect, the participation of the Republic of Sudan in all AU activities until the effective restoration of the civilian-led Transitional Authority.

The AU statement also said the continental body will undertake a mission to Sudan to engage with all stakeholders with a view to finding an amicable solution to the political stalemate in the country.

On Monday, General Commander of Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan declared a state of emergency across the country, dissolved the transitional Sovereign Council and the government, and relieved the state governors.

Since then, demonstrators have taken to the street in Khartoum, rejecting the measures announced by Al-Burhan and demanding a civilian government.

Sudan is in a 39-month transitional period and is ruled by a transitional government of military and civilian elements, which was established after the ouster of former President Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. The transitional period is set to be followed by elections to form a new government.

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