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AU suspends Mali, threatens sanctions

The African Union has suspended Mali's membership after Colonel Assimi Goita took power in a military coup last week.The AU,…

The African Union has suspended Mali’s membership after Colonel Assimi Goita took power in a military coup last week.The AU, in a statement said it is  following in the footsteps of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also threatened Mali with sanctions if power is not returned to the civilian transitional government.

The military led by Colonel Assimi Goita 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.

The African Union called for “an unimpeded, transparent and swift return to the civilian-led transition … failing which, the Council will not hesitate to impose targeted sanctions,” the AU’s Peace and Security Council said.

The union said it was deeply concerned the evolving situation in Mali and its negative impact on the gains made thus far in the transition process of the country.

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.

It is recalled that West African regional bloc ECOWAS suspended Mali last Sunday.

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