The African Union (AU) says it will not recognize unconstitutional changes of governance by means of military coups.
The AU says it will only put its weight on leaders that have duly been elected through the ballot.
AU Commission Director for Political Affairs Kebele Mathlosa says military coups bring civil unrest and will not be entertained.
Dr. Mathlosa said the AUC pursues voting as a constitutional means of electing a leader whose will of the people had prevailed.
Dr. Mathlosa was speaking during an Open session for the African Union Peace and Security Council on the theme dubbed, ”Towards Peace, Security and Prosperity on the Continent- Embracing the values of democracy and Governance: Is the AU Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance Adequate?
He also expressed concern that many African countries still experience violence during elections.
‘’It is unfortunate that the problem of violence still characterizes elections in many African states. Voters must be educated on the need to desist from violence;’’ he said.
He called on African Union member States to ratify the Charter on Democracy, elections and governance in order to guarantee free and fair elections on the African continent.
And speaking at the same event, United Nations Special Representative to the African Union and Head of UNOAU Sahle-Work Zewde called on political leaders to educate their voters on the need to accept election results.
Ms. Zewde said many conflicts on the continent were as a result of failure by losing candidates to accept election outcome.
And Chairing the Peace and Security Council, Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Susan Sikaneta said Africa can attain peace, integration and prosperity if it fulfils the objectives and principles of the African Charter on democracy, elections and governance.
“The AU Charter spells out the good principles with which member states ought to conduct government businesses for the good and progress of mother Africa,’’ Ms. Sikaneta said.
The Envoy said the session was important as it would examine whether the Charter contains sufficient guidelines to guide member states towards a culture of democracy, governance, dialogue and peaceful resolution of conflicts.
This is contained in a press statement issued to ZANIS in Lusaka today by First Secretary for Press and Tourism at the Zambian Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Inutu Mwanza.