African Union suspends Guinea’s membership after coup

December 29th, 2008 - 6:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Addis Ababa, Dec 29 (Xinhua) The African Union (AU) said Monday that it has suspended Guinea’s membership after a coup in the west African nation.In a statement issued after the 165th meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council, the pan-African organisation said it decided “to suspend the participation of Guinea in the activities of the AU until the return to constitutional order in that country.”

The decision was made “in accordance with the relevant provisions of the AU Constitutive Act and the Lome Declaration of July 2000 on unconstitutional changes of government,” said the statement.

The military led by Moussa Camara launched a coup Tuesday, hours after the announcement of death of President Lansana Conte, who ruled Guinea for 24 years.

Camara, who declared himself the president of the country, vowed to tackle corruption and renegotiate mining contracts while addressing a public meeting Saturday.

“We have blocked the mining sector. There will be a renegotiation of contracts,” he said.

With an area of 245,857 square km and a population of 9.56 million, Guinea is known for its rich mineral deposits, especially bauxite which accounts for half of the world’s total reserves. The country, however, remains one of the poorest in the world.

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