16 March, 2014

Madagascar Un-Suspended from African Union

Map of the African Union, including active and suspended members, updated for the January 2014 reinstatement of Madagascar (colorblind accessible).
The African Union as of March 2014. Map by Evan Centanni, from this blank map by Eric Gaba.
License: CC BY-SA
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Flag of Madagascar Country Name:  
• Madagascar (English, French)
Madagasikara (Malagasy)
Official Name:  
• Republic of Madagascar (English)
• Repoblikan'i Madagasikara (Malagasy)
• République de Madagascar (French)
Capital: Antananarivo
Article by Evan Centanni

Madagascar Suspension Ends
This past January, the African Union decided to lift the suspension of Madagascar from the regional organization. Madagascar's membership was suspended in 2009, after the president was forced out in popularly-supported military coup. The country's reinstatement to the AU follows a new presidential election this past December

The AU's Peace and Security Council typically suspends member countries when they experience coups or other breakdowns of constitutional rule. Though this is billed as a pro-democracy policy, it does not affect undemocratic governments which are already long-established. After Madagascar's reinstatement, there are currently three remaining suspended AU members: Guinea-Bissau, the Central African Republic (CAR), and Egypt, whose suspension we reported on last year.

See Also: Rebel Takeover of Central African Republic (map)

What is the African Union?
Flag of the African Union (AU)Organization Name:  
• African Union (English)
• al-Āthḥād al-’Āfrīqī (Arabic)
• Union africaine (French)
• União Africana (Portuguese)
• Unión Africana (Spanish)
• Umoja wa Afrika (Swahili)  
Launched: 2002 in Durban, South Africa
Headquarters: Addis Ababba, Ethiopia
Website: www.au.int
Formed in 1999-2002 to replace the earlier Organization of African Unity (OAU), the AU is an intergovernmental organization which works on increasing cooperation, stability, and development within the continent of Africa. It has a secretariat based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, though many of its most important decisions are made during annual summits of the continent's national leaders.

Every UN-recognized country in Africa is a member of the African Union except for Morocco, which withdrew from the OAU in 1984 after the organization chose to admit the partially-recognized state of Western Sahara, a disputed territory which Morocco claims and largely occupies. The only other parts of Africa not represented in the AU are a few groups of offshore islands controlled by European countries, as well the small Spanish enclaves in North Africa. The breakaway Republic of Somaliland is not a member, but is considered by the AU to be part of Somalia.

Low-resolution graphic of the African Union flag is displayed under fair use principles (source). Flag of Madagascar is in the public domain (source).