African Union suspends Mali after military coup and threatens sanctions
The African Union has suspended Mali’s membership in response to last week’s military coup and threatened sanctions if a civilian-led government is not restored, it said in a statement on Tuesday.
The move follows a similar suspension on Sunday from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
In its statement, the AU called for the military to “urgently and unconditionally return to the barracks, and to refrain from further interference in the political processes in Mali”.
The military arrested interim President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane last week and pressured them to resign, derailing a transition to democratic elections after another military coup last August ousted the previous administration.
Former vice president Assimi Goita, a colonel who led the August coup and last week’s revolt, 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 said.
Mali’s neighbours and international powers fear the latest revolt will jeopardise a commitment to hold a presidential election in February, and undermine a regional fight against Islamist militants, some of whom are based in Mali’s desert north.