The African Union (AU) has suspended Gabon following the military coup of Wednesday.

The AU’s peace and security council made the announcement on Thursday via X, formerly Twitter.

The body said it “strongly condemns the military takeover of power in the Republic of Gabon” and has decided “to immediately suspend the participation of Gabon in all activities of the AU, its organs and institutions”.

According to the tweet, the suspension will subsist until constitutional order is restored in the country.

A group of soldiers had appeared on national TV to announce that they had seized power from President Ali Bongo who had just been re-elected to a third term in office.

The coup leaders also said they were dissolving the country’s constitution and shutting all borders.

The takeover ended the Bongo family’s almost six decades hold on power and created a new dilemma for a region that has struggled to deal with eight coups since 2020.

President Bola Tinubu, who is also the chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), frowned at the military takeover, saying coups were becoming a “contagious autocracy” in Africa.

Tinubu said he was working “very closely” with AU leaders towards a comprehensive consensus on the next steps to take.

The ECOWAS chairperson has also been overseeing efforts to restore constitutional order in Niger after the country’s military toppled democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26.