By Marthe Van Der Wolf-VOA
The African Union announced Friday that Egypt’s membership has been suspended due to the military action in Cairo that deposed President Mohamed Morsi and suspended the nation's constitution.
The secretary of the African Union Peace and Security Council, Admore Kambudzi, says Egypt is barred from participating in any AU activity.
“The overthrow of the democratic elected president does not conform to the relevant provisions of the Egyptian constitution and is therefore false under the definition of an unconstitutional change of government. The council decides to suspend the participation of Egypt in AU activities until the restoration of constitutional order.” Kambudzi said.
The military toppled the Morsi government and declared the constitution suspended on Wednesday, saying the president had failed to meet demands of the Egyptian people. Egypt’s top judge was sworn in as the country'sw temporary leader on Thursday.
Egypt's ambassador to the African Union, Mohamed Edrees, defended the military's actions. He told the AU Peace and Security Council Friday there has not been a military coup.
“The military role in this is to support the people. The military did not instigate a coup or impose its own agenda against the will of the Egyptian people, on the contrary. The military supported the agenda of the people [and] the roadmap which was endorsed by the whole broad spectrum of the Egyptian society.” Edrees said.
The African Union says it is planning to send a high-level delegation to Egypt to consult with the ruling authorities and others.
The African Union currently has three other member states on suspended status, all as a result of what are considered ACTIONS CONTRARY TO THEIR NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONS: Madagascar, Central African Republic and Guinea-Bissau.