The African Union suspended Mali’s membership in response to last week’s military coup and threatened sanctions, if a civilian-led government is not restored. West African regional bloc ECOWAS had suspended Mali on Sunday.
African Union’s Peace and Security Council said that the organisation called for an unimpeded, transparent and swift return to the civilian-led transition, failing which, the Council will not hesitate to impose targeted sanctions. Mali’s neighbours and international powers fear the latest revolt will jeopardise a commitment to hold a Presidential election in February. It may also undermine a regional fight against Islamist militants, some of which are based in Mali’s desert north.
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.