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AU suspends Mali over military take over of government

Agency Reporter 

The African Union (AU) yesterday suspended Mali from its fold with immediate effect. It will not be readmitted into the continental ogarnisation until normal constitutional order has been restored.

AU’s action followed the evolving situation in the West African nation in which the civilian interim president Bah N’Daw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane were ousted in a second coup.

But, the military continued its transitional government with the interim President Colonel Assimi Goita naming a Choguel Kokalla Maiga as the new Prime Minister.

Maiga’s appointment was widely expected. He is the leader of the June 5 rally of Patriotic Forces Movement, the same group that took part in the overthrow of former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta last year.

Keita was forced out by young army officers, led by Goita, following mass protests over perceived corruption.

There has been support among some civilians for the May 24 coup. Goita said he had little choice to intervene after what he called “disorder”.

Army officers upset with the government detained Ndaw and Ouane, who were later released after they resigned.

At its 1001st meeting on the situation in Mali, the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) endorsed the decisions adopted last Sunday by leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Accra, the Ghanaian capital.

A communique of the PSC said the AU, in line with the relevant normative instruments, decided to “immediately suspend the Republic of Mali from participating in all activities of the African Union, its organs and institutions, until normal constitutional order has been restored in the country”.

The communique 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”.

The AU called for the creation of conducive conditions for an “unimpeded, transparent and swift return to the civilian-led transition.

“This should be based on the agreed transition roadmap for Mali, failing which, the PSC will not hesitate to impose targeted sanctions and other punitive measures against any spoilers of the current transition”.

The communique called on the Malian defence and security forces to immediately lift all restrictions on all political actors, including the house-arrest of ousted N’Daw and Ouane.

It also called on the transitional authorities to respect and abide by the originally stipulated 18 months transitional period.

The communique appealed to the Malian people to remain calm and to continue to work together within the framework of the 2015 Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Mali, which emanated from the Algiers process, with the effective participation of women, the youth and Malians in the Diaspora, to resolve the current crisis, and organise free, fair and credible democratic elections on February 27, 2022.

The AU stressed that the current leadership of the transition process, including the head of the transition, vice president and prime minister, should not, under any circumstances, be candidates for the forthcoming presidential election in Mali.

It decided to constitute a PSC evaluation Mission to Mali, to engage with all concerned stakeholders and the ECOWAS Special Envoy and Mediator, former President Goodluck Jonathan, in order to identify areas in which the AU could provide support to Mali, particularly as this relates to the implementation of the transition programme and the holding of elections.

The AU appealed to the international community to extend financial support to Mali to enable it tackle its grave macroeconomic challenges and the safeguard the transition plan.

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