Egyptian soldiers stand guard in front of the headquarters of the Republican… (Ed Giles / Getty Images )
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- The African Union suspended Egypt's membership in the organization Friday in response to the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi by the Egyptian military.
The group's Peace and Security Council announced the move following a meeting Friday in the organization's headquarters in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, to discuss the Wednesday coup that oust Egypt's first democratically elected president.
"The African Union suspended Egypt from all its activities after the Egyptian military overthrew the elected President Mohamed Morsi following intense protests," a statement on the African Union's website said. "Suspension is the union's usual response to any interruption of constitutional rule by a member state."
The decision will remain in effect until Egypt restores a constitutional democracy, the statement said.
The head of the African Union Commission, South Africa's Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, told a news conference in Addis Ababa that the ouster of Morsi was an unconstitutional change of government. Egypt will not be readmitted to the organization until there was an election allowing its people to express their will, she said.
Morsi had been in power for a year when the military removed him after weeks of demonstrations against his government and clashes between pro- and anti-Morsi protesters.
Other countries suspended for unconstitutional changes of power include the Central African Republic, Madagascar and Guinea-Bissau.
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