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Cablegate: Usau: Guinea's Au Membership Suspended

P 291226Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3241
INFO AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
NSC WASHDC
HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
USEU BRUSSELS
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

UNCLAS ADDIS ABABA 003456

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/FO, AF/W, AND AF/RSA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV GV USAU

SUBJECT: USAU: GUINEA'S AU MEMBERSHIP SUSPENDED

REF: ADDIS ABABA 3451

1. (U) As expected, the African Union's (AU) Peace and
Security Council voted on December 29 to suspend Guinea from
the organization until the country returns to constitutional
order. The Council also reiterated its "firm condemnation"
of the December 23 coup, which it regards as "a flagrant
violation of the Constitution of Guinea and of the relevant
AU instruments."

2. (SBU) The 15-member Peace and Security Council voted
unanimously in favor of suspending the participation of
Guinea in the activities of the AU. In their closed door
deliberations, Council members reportedly maintained that
this was an appropriate response in light of the military
junta's actions in recent days, including its dissolution of
the government and its call for presidential elections by
2010. "There is no way people can compromise on that," AU
spokesman El-Ghassim Wane told USAU Charge after the meeting.
"Many members of the Council expressed shock" that
Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade had called for
international recognition of Guinea's military junta, Wane
said. A military takeover such as this "is against the
rules."

3. (U) According to a communique released by the AU after the
meeting, the Council also welcomed the coordination between
the AU and ECOWAS, and urged AU Commission Chairperson Jean
Ping to pursue his efforts, including his contacts with coup
leaders, "for the rapid return to constitutional order."
Ping attended the late President Lansana Conte's funeral in
Conakry on December 26.

4. (U) On December 24, Council members stopped short of
voting to suspend Guinea's membership because they still
considered the events as merely a coup attempt and did not
want to give coup leaders more legitimacy. Their communique
from December 24 urged all parties in Guinea, "particularly
the heads of the armed forces at all levels, to do everything
to avoid acts of violence and coercion." The Council further
warned that the "perpetrators of the coup attempt and all
those involved in the subversion of the Guinean Constitution
and efforts aimed at undermining legality, including
violations of human rights and the dignity of Guineans, shall
be held fully and personally accountable for their actions
and dealt with accordingly."

5. (U) Council members punctuated their December 24
communique by rejecting "the phenomenon of coup d'etat, which
constitutes a threat to peace and security on the continent,
as well as a serious setback in the ongoing democratization
process in Africa."

YAMAMOTO

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