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AU stance on coups called inconsistent

Nov. 24, 2008 at 7:55 AM

BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- A coup attempt in Guinea-Bissau undermines the African Union's efforts to discourage such unconstitutional power grabs, an analyst says.

Rebel soldiers fired machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades Sunday at the home of Guinea-Bissau President Joao Bernardo Vieira, who survived the coup attempt and has launched an investigation into the coup attempt. Okey Onyejekwe, director of governance at the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa, told VOA Monday the situation presents problems for the African Union, which has condemned the incident.

"I'm really disturbed by that because this is also coming in at the heels of the overthrow of the government in Mauritania," Onyejekwe said. "And the concern for me is that one would have thought that this has become a thing of the past, given the commitment of the AU to eschew all sorts of unconstitutional means of overtaking power."

Onyejekwe told VOA that although the African Union officially condemns all coups, its reactions to them has been inconsistent, with some coming in for more opposition than others and giving plotters the impression they may have nothing to fear from the group.

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