African Union suspends Egypt

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The African Union suspended Egypt from all its activities on Friday after the Egyptian military overthrew the elected president, Mohamed Mursi, a senior AU official said.

“As mandated by the relevant AU instruments, the African Union Peace and Security Council decides to suspend the participation of Egypt in AU activities until the restoration of constitutional order,” said Admore Kambudzi, secretary of the council.

Suspension is the AU’s usual response to any interruption of constitutional rule by a member state. In March it suspended the Central African Republic after rebels overthrew the government. In recent years, it has meted out similar treatment to Madagascar and Mali, although Mali’s suspension has since been lifted.

Tunisia and Turkey were among Muslim countries to denounce Mursi’s overthrow as a coup. The United States and European Union refrained from using that description but called for a swift return to democratic rule.

Following the swearing-in of Adli Mansour on Thursday as interim head of state, the next step in the Egyptian army’s “road map” back to democracy is the formation of an interim government in the next few days. One state newspaper said it should be ready on Sunday.

Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Mark Trevelyan