African Union suspends Mali after military coup, threatens sanctions
Updated 13:44, 02-Jun-2021

The African Union (AU) 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 AU "decides ... 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 body's Peace and Security Council said in a statement late Tuesday.

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 AU called for "an unimpeded, transparent and swift return to the civilian-led transition ... failing which, the Council will not hesitate to impose targeted sanctions," added the union's council.

Mali's neighbors and international powers fear the latest revolt will jeopardize a commitment to hold a presidential election in February, and undermine a regional fight against Islamist militants, some of which are based in Mali's desert north.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS made a similar move on Mali Sunday.

(With input from Reuters, AFP)

(Cover: A man rides a motorcycle past the entrance of the Malian military base where Mali's President Bah Ndaw, Prime Minister Moctar Ouane and defense minister Souleymane Doucoure are detained, Kati, Mali, May 25, 2021. /Reuters)

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