International News

African Union suspends Mali after a military coup

The African Union has suspended Mali’s membership following last week’s military coup.

In a statement today, the Union also threatened sanctions if a civilian-led government is not restored.

“The Africa Union decides to immediately suspend the republic of Mali from participation in all activities of the African Union, its Organs and institutions until normal order has been restored in the country.”

The military detained interim President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane last week and pushed them to involuntarily step down.

The move, disrupting a shift to democratic elections following a similar military coup last August that overthrew the previous administration.

Former vice president Assimi Goita, a colonel who led the August coup and last week’s rebellion, was declared president on Friday.

The African Union called for “an unimpeded, transparent and swift return to the civilian-led transition … failing which, the Council will not hesitate to impose targeted sanctions,” the AU’s Peace and Security Council remarked.

The African Union suspended Mali after last August’s coup but reinstated the country a few weeks later after the heads of the new civilian-led transitional government were announced.

Meanwhile, West African regional bloc ECOWAS suspended Mali on Sunday.

However, it did not announce sanctions like the ones it imposed after the coup last year, which saw members temporarily close their borders with landlocked Mali and half financial transactions.

By Everlyne Bosibori

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