35th African Union Summit: recurrence of military coups and weakening of civilian powers must be a priority for the AU

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Dakar, Bamako, Abidjan, Nairobi, Paris - 4 February 2022. In the aftermath of the attempted coup d’état in Guinea Bissau, in which 11 people, including four civilians, were killed, and as the African Union (AU) prepares to open its 35th Summit, FIDH and its member organisations publish a position paper in which they call for the firm condemnation of the systematisation of military coups in Africa and for the identification of solutions to guarantee the respect of human rights, the rule of law, and democratic principles.

“FIDH and its member organisations are concerned about the repetition and normalisation of coups d’état as a means of changing power. The coups d’état carried out in Mali, Chad, Guinea, Sudan, and Burkina Faso are further weakening state structures and institutions at a time when the various contexts are precarious. FIDH and its member organisations call on the partners of these countries to systematically denounce and condemn the repeated obstructions to the rule of law and the democratic principles essential to the organisation of peaceful political life that respects human rights. Only these principles can bring about the lasting peace and the sustainable economic and social development that the population is calling for,"

said Paul Nsapu, vice president of FIDH.

FIDH and its member organisations recall that these military coups are in violation of several regional and international instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and the African Union’s Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG), which came into force in 2012, and which recognizes that any putsch or coup d’état against a democratically elected government constitutes an unconstitutional change of government, subject to appropriate sanctions by the Union (as per Article 23 of the AU’s constitutive act).

Click here to read FIDH’s position paper.

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