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The African Union (AU) is a continental union consisting of 54 countries in Africa. The only African state that is not a member is Morocco, due to the status of the Western Sahara, although Burkina Faso and the Central African Republic have had their memberships suspended due to the recent coup d'état and ongoing civil war respectively. The AU was established on 26 May 2001 in Addis Ababa and launched on 9 July 2002 in South Africa, with the aim of replacing the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). The most important decisions of the AU are made by the Assembly of the African Union, a semi-annual meeting of the heads of state and government of its member states. The AU's secretariat, the African Union Commission, is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.