Gabon partially suspended from Commonwealth after coup
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Commonwealth foreign ministers met on the margins of the UN General Assembly to make the decision.

Gabon was urged to uphold the Commonwealth’s values and principles.

As soon as possible, they urged the country to hold credible elections.

Following the 2023 presidential election, the military ousted Mr Bongo from power.

Having succeeded his father, who had ruled the country for 41 years, Mr Bongo has been in power since 2009.

After military leaders took over, he was initially placed under house arrest, but later freed and allowed to travel abroad for medical care.

As members of the Commonwealth ministerial action group, the foreign ministers have requested that Gabon guarantee Mr Bongo’s and his family’s safety, and strongly condemned the unconstitutional removal of the government.

The suspension was in place “pending the restoration of democracy in Gabon”. All Commonwealth intergovernmental meetings and events, including ministerial and head of government meetings, are excluded from Gabon.

After Gen Brice Oligui Nguema, who led the coup against Mr Bongo, became Gabon’s interim president, Raymond Ndong Sima was installed as interim prime minister in September.

Sima told the that fresh elections should be held within two years.

From 30 August 2023, Commonwealth ministers gave Gabon’s new leaders two years to hold credible elections. According to the statement, if progress was not made in that time, the country would be removed from the group.

Both African and Western leaders condemned the coup, but civilians appear to have welcomed it.