AU delegation told Morsy ouster not a coup

A delegation from the African Union (AU) visiting Cairo said that has heard sufficient arguments that could assure its members that Morsy’s removal on 3 July was no military coup.

Morsy was removed from office by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi after mass protests demanding early presidential elections. The move prompted the African Union to suspend Egypt’s membership to the organization. The delegation arrived on Tuesday in Cairo to discuss the decision with Egyptian officials.

The delegation's head, former Malian president Alpha Oumar Konare, said in a statement to the press on Wednesday that the Egyptian army intervened to prevent civil war, rather than to take power.

He added that the AU’s freeze on Egypt’s activities was not a penalty, but rather an expression of reservation until the organization could acquire the necessary information to make a more appropriate response. He explained that the suspension was in line with the AU’s 2000 resolution, backed by Egypt, which said that military coups were unacceptable.

Kounare revealed that the AU had sought to send a delegation before 30 June to assess the situation in Egypt.

Kounare, however, stressed that he will make more visits to Egypt before announcing a final decision on Egypt's status. He pointed out that Egypt is currently allowing for plurality despite religious and political differences in the country.

Edited translation from MENA