This Article considers the response of the Organization for African Unity (the OAU, founded in 1963) and its successor, the African Union (the AU, which began operating in 2003) to coups d’état, since 1997. The Article addresses these organizations’ policies concerning unconstitutional changes of government, as well as the application of these policies. In considering these issues, the Article examines the response of the AU to the coups in Togo (2005), Mauritania (2005 and 2008), Guinea (2008), Madagascar (2009), and Niger (2010). In each case, the AU was unwilling to recognize the government that came to power through coup, even when the regime had popular and political support within the state. The Article concludes by arguing that the AU should pursue a more nuanced policy in this area.
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