Ambassador Joe Keshi, a retired Nigerian diplomat to African countries and the United States has the sanction imposed by the African Union (AU) on Gabon over the recent military coup in the country has no effect.
Keshi, who served as Nigeria’s Consul General in Atlanta, spoke on Saturday on the recent rise in coup across Africa during an interview with Arise TV.
He said the AU must find new methods of engaging military coups, noting that sanctions and condemnations had not yielded the desired results.
He said, “In the case of Gabon, I think the AU has made a mistake. When they realize that the crisis had started, after an election that was not concluded, and the announcement declared a sitting president as the winner (which precipitated the action of the military), I would have thought that what the AU could have done was not to spend time condemning and threatening to impose sanctions. They should have engaged the military to complete the electoral process and declare the winner of the election as the president.
“But what they have done now is spending time condemning and threatening to impose sanctions. The young officers and the coup plotters in Gabon have announced that they are going to swear in their president on Monday.
- Suspend British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Flights to Nigeria, Falana tells FG
- APC will establish institute of progressive study – Ganduje
“And so, a lot of time that they (AU) could have spent engaging, persuading them to take action to complete the electoral process was lost.
“Although sanctions do work in some cases, we must say this: when we look at what happened in Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger where sanctions have been imposed, it’s obvious that the sanctions have not convinced the military leaderships to change their minds.
“So we must find better ways of negotiating and getting the military out, and not staying in a far distance condemning it and imposing sanctions.”