ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The African Union (AU) ended the suspension of Egypt and Guinea Bissau from the grouping on Tuesday after the two countries elected new leaders, a senior AU official said.
Egypt held an election in May after it was suspended from all the activities of the African body when the military overthrew the elected president, Islamist Mohamed Mursi, in July last year. Guinea Bissau also held a vote in May after a military takeover.
Suspension is the AU’s usual response to any interruption of constitutional rule by a member.
“Today a decision has been taken to allow Egypt to regain its seat in all the activities of the African Union,” AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui told Reuters.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who removed Mursi when he was head of Egypt’s army, was sworn into office in June after a poll in which he won 96.91 percent of the vote.
Guinea Bissau’s election winner was Jose Mario Vaz, a former finance minister and candidate for the dominant African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC). The result was initially challenged by the loser who then conceded.
“Now we have a president elected and recognised by even those who were opposed,” Chergui said.
Reporting by Aaron Maasho; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall