African Union announces 'immediate suspension' of Mali after second coup in nine months

WION Web Team
Bamako Published: Jun 02, 2021, 03:29 PM(IST)

Representative image Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The statement asked for a return to the transition, the release of all political stakeholders, including arrested interim President Bah Ndaw and house-arrested interim Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, and for authorities to adhere to the original agreement's 18-month transition term. 

After the country's second coup in nine months, the African Union suspended Mali and threatened to impose sanctions if restoration to democracy was delayed further. 

The Peace and Security Council laid out a statement, saying Mali is immediately barred from participating in African Union activities, adding that the union was "deeply concerned about the evolving situation in Mali and its negative impact on the gains made thus far in the transition process in the country".

The statement asked for a return to the transition, the release of all political stakeholders, including arrested interim President Bah Ndaw and house-arrested interim Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, and for authorities to adhere to the original agreement's 18-month transition term. 

If the military delays handing back power to civilian transitional leaders, “the council will not hesitate to impose targeted sanctions and other punitive measures,” it said.

The AU "strongly urged the Malian military to urgently and unconditionally return to the barracks, and to refrain from further interference in the political processes in Mali", reported DW.

It said if Mali fails to comply, the Peace and Security Council will not hesitate to impose targeted sanctions and other punitive measures against any spoilers of the current transition.

Colonel Goita sparked global outrage last month after he detained the transitional president and prime minister and was subsequently named president by Mali's constitutional court, DW reported. Mali was subjected to sanctions from neighbouring western African countries in the wake of the coup.

Meanwhile, Goita had earlier said he had dismissed the president and prime minister for violating the transitional charter. He told ECOWAS that a military council would assume power in Mali, informed a military source.

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

Later, 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 defence minister, was initially appointed as president for that period, Sputnik reported.

(With inputs from agencies)

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