The Commonwealth has announced the partial suspension of Gabon, following the August 30 military coup in the Central African nation.
The partial suspension was instituted during the 63rd Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) meeting in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss developments in member states.
Held on Monday, the meeting was chaired by Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Tourism, of Samoa, Fiamē Naomi Mata’afa, according to a statement made public on Tuesday.
Ministers from Barbados, Canada, Ghana, Mauritius, and Rwanda, and representatives of Belize, Malaysia and Malta, were also in attendance.
According to the statement, the ministers expressed the collective concern of the Commonwealth on the political situation in Gabon, strongly condemned the unconstitutional removal of the elected government from office and called for the restoration of democracy.
“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 determined that if acceptable progress had not been made within two years, consideration would be given to fully suspending Gabon, the statement continued.
They also urged the Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, to continue her Good Offices engagement with Gabon, including providing technical assistance, with a view to redressing the situation and facilitating Gabon’s return to democracy.
“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.”
See the full statement below: