Wednesday, September 20, 2023 – Gabon has been partially suspended by the Commonwealth following a coup in the country weeks ago.
The decision was taken at the 63rd Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) meeting in New York, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss developments in member states.
The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Tourism, of Samoa, Fiamē Naomi Mata’afa, according to a statement made public on Tuesday, September 19.
Ministers from Barbados, Canada, Ghana, Mauritius, and Rwanda, and representatives of Belize, Malaysia and Malta, were also in attendance. They expressed the collective concern of the Commonwealth on the political situation in Gabon, strongly condemned the unconstitutional removal of the elected government from office and called for the restoration of democracy.
It was also stated that the Commonwealth might fully suspend Gabon if progress is not made towards democracy in two years.
The statement read;
“In accordance with the steps set out in the Millbrook Commonwealth Action Programme on the Harare Declaration, the Ministers decided to partially suspend Gabon from the Commonwealth pending the restoration of democracy.
“This partial suspension entails suspension from the Councils of the Commonwealth, and the exclusion of Gabon from all Commonwealth intergovernmental meetings and events, including ministerial meetings and CHOGM.
“The Group called upon Gabon as a Commonwealth member, to uphold the values and principles of the Commonwealth and to hold credible elections as soon as possible and within a maximum of two years from 30 August 2023.
“The Group called upon Gabon to guarantee the personal integrity, safety, health and human rights of former President Ali Bongo Ondimba, his family members and members of his Government.”