The African Union (AU) has suspended Niger Republic from all its activities until civilian rule is restored in the country.
The AU Peace and Security Council said this in a communique issued on Tuesday after a meeting of the council held in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.
The decision to suspend Niger was part of resolutions adopted at the council meeting held on August 14, the communique said.
Niger Republic has been under international limelight since a military coup orchestrated by members of his presidential guard ousted President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26.
Reacting, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) insisted that Bazoum must be returned to power and imposed economic sanctions.
ECOWAS also warned the ruling military junta of imminent military intervention should it ignore calls to relinquish power.
However, the regional bloc said the use of force would be the “last resort” after exhausting diplomatic channels for negotiation.
In the communique, the AU Peace and Security Council said it had noted the decision to activate an ECOWAS standby force to restore constitutional order in Niger and asked the AU Commission to assess the economic, social, and security implications of deploying such a force.
The continental bloc reiterated calls for the coup leaders to immediately release President Bazoum, who has been under house arrest since his ouster, and return to their barracks.
“We are studying the ECOWAS decision to prepare forces for deployment in Niger, and the African Commission will evaluate its repercussions.
“We strongly reject any external interference by any party or country in the affairs of the continent, including private military companies,” the communique read in part.