ADDIS ABABA – The African Union (AU) has warned African leaders against unconstitutional change of government and manipulation of term limits to prolong their stay in power.
In a statement seen by Sudans Post last week, the AU urged member states to address governance matters through available legal national mechanisms.
“The African Union resolved to address factors which lead to unconstitutional changes of government, including manipulation of democratic processes to tamper with constitutions and effecting amendments to electoral laws within a short span before the elections and without the consent of the majority of political actors and in violation of the stipulated national democratic principles, rules and procedures for constitutional amendment,” the statement partly read.
It says, the AU will “continue to strongly condemn all forms of unconstitutional changes of government in Africa, coup perpetrators and manipulation of democratic processes to effect constitutional amendments or revisions for entrenching power of the incumbent in violation of the national democratic principles, and stipulated rules and procedures for constitutional amendment, and, in this regard urge all those interested parties to address political concerns through the available national legal mechanisms with a view to finding solutions in a constructive, peaceful and constitutionally acceptable manner; emphasize that unconstitutional changes of government, in any circumstances, should not be entertained or justified.”
The continental bloc also warned external forces from making unnecessary intervention in African countries, especially during coups adding that such scenarios would call for the deployment of African Standby Forces.
It says it “strongly rejects any form of internal or external interference on peace and security matters in Africa and warn those who finance coups, foreign fighters and mercenaries in Member States that their nefarious actions will not be tolerated; encourage Member States to address peace and security challenges through mutual support within the continent as well as advancing the concept of African solutions to African problems; in this regard, underscore the need for the full operationalization and deployment of the African Standby Force(ASF) to effectively undertake its mandate.”
In the statement, the organization urged African leaders and Institutions to design mechanisms and programmes for governance capacity building among political parties, parliamentarians, public servants and Non-State Actors in order to enrich leadership qualities and Statecraft with a special focus on youth and women’s empowerment.
The concerns came amid rampant coups and unconstitutional change of governments in West Africa.