African Union Suspends Mali’s Membership Over Latest Coup and Threatens Sanctions

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ECOWAS on Mali

The African Union (AU) has suspended the membership of Mali in the organization and warned about possible sanctions in the wake of an armed coup.

In late May, Mali saw its second coup since August. It was led by the country’s vice-president, Col. Assimi Goita, who was named transitional president. Goita removed President Bah N’Daw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane from office after accusing them of breaking transition rules. In the official communique issued on Tuesday, the AU Peace and Security Council condemned and rejected these developments.

“Decides, accordingly, in line with the relevant AU normative instruments, to immediately suspend the Republic of Mali from participation in all activities of the African Union, its Organs and institutions, until normal constitutional order has been restored in the country,” the council said in a statement after its meeting in Addis Ababa.

The AU went on to urge the country’s military to refrain from interfering with Mali’s domestic politics and call for creation of conditions for returning to civilian-led transition, “failing which, the Council will not hesitate to impose targeted sanctions and other punitive measures against any spoilers of the current transition.”

In August 2020, a group of Malian soldiers started a mutiny at the Kati military base near Bamako. Insurgents kidnapped several ministers and high-ranking military officials, including former President Ibrahim Boubakar Keita, who later dissolved the government and parliament.

On September 12, the military approved the basic law and strategy for transition after consultations with political and civil figures. The parties agreed that the transition period would last eighteen months. Bah N’Daw, a former defense minister, was appointed as president for that period.

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