Addis Ababa [Ethiopia], June 2: The African Union (AU) has also suspended the membership of Mali following a military coup and the detention of the country’s interim prime minister and president.
The AU also threatened Mali “with sanctions if power is not returned to the civilian transitional government besides urging the Malian military to urgently and unconditionally return to the barracks and to refrain from further interference in the political processes in Mali” .
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 called for a return to the transition, the release of all political stakeholders, including the detained interim President Bah Ndaw and interim Prime Minister Moctar Ouane who are under house arrest, and for authorities to respect the 18 months transition period original stipulated in the agreement.
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 had earlier said he had dismissed the president and prime minister for violating the transitional charter. He told the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that a military council would assume power in Mali, informed a military source.
In August last year, a group of Malian soldiers initiated 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.
With agency inputs