Punitive Measures Africa Union suspends Burkina Faso over coup

Following a meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa on Friday, the 54-member pan-African bloc said the country was suspended 'with immediate effect', and slapped a travel ban and asset freeze on the junta leaders.

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The African Union has suspended Burkina Faso over Thursday's military coup, which has halted preparations for the west African nation's first democratic election.

Following a meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa on Friday, the 54-member pan-African bloc said the country was suspended 'with immediate effect', and slapped a travel ban and asset freeze on the junta leaders.

'The Council decided in accordance with the instrument we have in place to suspend Burkina Faso from all activities of the Union with immediate effect,' Uganda's ambassador to the AU, Mull Katende, told reporters.

He also described the kidnapping of the country's interim leaders as a 'terrorist' act which should be 'addressed a such by the entire international community'.

The AU Peace and Security Council also ordered all member states to impose a 'travel ban and asset freeze on all members of the so-called National Committee for Democracy', which declared the coup, and for a list of its leaders to be compiled and circulated so they can be officially condemned as 'terrorist elements'.

Burkina Faso was preparing to hold its first democratic election in decades before the coup, led by allies of the former president, threw it into turmoil.

The presidential and legislative elections were supposed to mark the end of the transitional government, installed after president Blaise Compaore was toppled in a popular uprising in October 2014 after 27 years in power.

The uprising was triggered by his attempt to extend rule over the poverty-stricken country.

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