Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at its 1180th meeting held on 23 October 2023 dedicated to the situation in the Republic of Gabon:

The Peace and Security Council:

Recalling Declaration [Ext/Assembly/AU/Decl.(XVI)] on Terrorism and Unconstitutional Changes of Government, adopted by the 16th Extraordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, from 27 to 28 May 2022; Decision AHG/Dec.141(XXXV) and AHG/Dec.142(XXXV), adopted by the 35th Ordinary Session of the OAU Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in Algiers, Algeria, from 12 to 14 July 1999; the Declaration on the Framework for an OAU Response to Unconstitutional Changes of Government, adopted by the 36th Ordinary Session of the OAU Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in Lomé, Togo, from 10 to 12 July 2000 (the Lomé Declaration); and the Solemn Declaration of the 50th OAU/AU Anniversary adopted in Addis Ababa on 25 May 2013;

Also recalling its decisions and pronouncements on the situation in Gabon, particularly Communiqué [PSC/PR/COMM.1172(2023)] adopted at its 1172nd meeting held on 31 August 2023, and the Press Release of the Chairperson of the AU Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, issued on 30 August 2023;

Upholding the AU Constitutive Act, the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, particularly Article 7 (g), while reiterating the AU zero tolerance of unconstitutional changes of government, in line with Article 4(p) of the AU Constitutive Act;

Reaffirming the determination to silence the guns in Africa by the year 2030 and creating conducive conditions for the realization of the AU Vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its people and representing a dynamic force in the global arena, as well as AU Agenda 2063;

Noting the opening remarks by H.E. Ambassador Daniel Owassa, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Congo to the AU and Chairperson of the PSC for October 2023, and the briefing by H.E. Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security; further noting the statement by the Representative of the President of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the statement by the representative of the Central African Republic to the AU in his capacity as the ECCAS Facilitator for Gabon

Reaffirming AU’s commitment to respect the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of its Member States and the Union’s solidarity with the people in their legitimate aspiration for peace, security, and stability and AU’s unwavering commitment to accompany its Member States in political transition to entrench a culture of good governance, democracy, constitutionalism and adherence to the rule of law in accordance with the normative instruments of the Union; and

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council:

1. Reiterates its deep concern over the resurgence of military coups d’états, as they undermine democracy, peace, security and stability, as well as development on the Continent; and also reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of the military coups d’états ousting democratically elected presidents; and renews its call for a swift return to constitutional order in Gabon;

2. Welcomes the efforts by ECCAS and the decision adopted at the 4th Extraordinary Summit of ECCAS, held on 4 September 2023 in Djibloho, Equatorial Guinea, to appoint H.E Faustin-Archange Touadera, President of the Central African Republic, as the ECCAS Facilitator for the political process in Gabon, and to appoint of H.E. Sylvie Baïpo-Témon, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Central African Republic as the ECCAS Special Envoy for Gabon; encourages H.E. President Touadera to closely collaborate with the AU Commission to synergize efforts;

3. Welcomes the recent developments in the Gabonese Republic, particularly the adoption of the Transitional Charter, appointment of a civilian Prime Minister, formation of a transitional government, announcement of the thrust of the government’s transitional roadmap and the appointment of members of the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI);  

4. Expresses deep concern about the lack of a clear, practical and time-bound timetable for the implementation of the Transitional Charter, particularly with regard to the holding of a national dialogue and elections, in order to facilitate the swift return to constitutional order; in this regard,  requests the Commission, in collaboration with ECCAS, to provide the necessary technical support to Gabon, in order to enable the CTRI to draws up a reasonable and acceptable timetable for the transition to constitutional order and transfer of power to civilians;

5. Reiterates its request to the AU Commission to expeditiously deploy a high-level mission to Gabon to determine the needs of the Transitional Government for the return to constitutional order, as well as assisting the Transitional Government to work towards organizing a truly inclusive and comprehensive national dialogue with the view to arriving at a national consensus on matters of national importance, including on the reforms to be undertaken to build confidence towards a return to constitutional order in pursuance of lasting peace in the country;

6. Urges the members of the transitional government to fulfill their commitments and refrain from enlisting their candidatures in the elections to be held at the end of the transition period in order to facilitate the total return to civilian rule, in line with the Constitution of the country and underscores the need to ensure the inclusion of all stakeholders, particularly women and youth, in the constitutional and institutional reform processes of the country; 

7. Underscores the imperative of sustained mediation efforts in the country and stresses the need for the transitional authorities to ensure conducive conditions for an inclusive national dialogue with the participation of all strata of society;

8. Condemns any politically motivated arrests and underscores the need to ensure that all arrested persons are treated in accordance with due legal process, as prescribed by the laws of the country;  

9. Expresses unwavering support for the efforts of ECCAS and the AU Commission in Gabon and, in this regard, requests the Chairperson of the Commission, in collaboration with ECCAS, to continue using his good offices to consult with the concerned stakeholders in Gabon on the developments in the country and to submit quarterly reports to Council, in order to inform the decisions of Council and for the deployment of the requisite support to enable Gabon return to a civilian government;

10. Emphasizes the need for informal consultations between the Council and the Member States in political transition, in accordance with Article 25(3) of ACDEG, to enable discussions aimed at gathering first-hand information and to determine areas that require timely interventions in efforts aimed at accompanying the concerned countries towards constitutional order and civilian rule; and

11. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Abraham Kebede

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