The African Union (AU) Commission on Tuesday suspended Niger from the pan-African bloc until normal constitutional order is restored in the country following the latest military coup.
The AU also warned its members to avoid any action that might legitimise the junta.
The decision to suspend Niger from AU membership was made by the Peace and Security Council of the AU Commission during its latest meeting that dwelt upon the situation in the western African country, AU said in a statement.
The council reiterated its “unequivocal condemnation” of the military coup that took place on July 26 in Niger, which resulted in the ousting of democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum by a faction of military officers.
The council reaffirmed its full solidarity with the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in its continued commitment to the restoration of constitutional order through diplomatic means.
“The council strongly rejected any external interference by any actor or any country outside the continent in the peace and security affairs in Africa.
“It also rejects engagements by private military companies in the continent in line with the 1977 OAU Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa, the statement said.
The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was the predecessor of the AU.
It urged the military to place the supreme interests of Niger and its people above all else and to immediately and unconditionally return to the barracks, and submit to civilian authorities consistent with the constitution of Niger.
The council also reiterated its deep concern over the resurgence of military coups as it undermines democracy, peace, security and stability, as well as development in the continent, the statement added.