African Union Suspends Mali After Second Coup In 9 Months.

African Union Suspends Mali After Second Coup In 9 Months

Mali's top court validated leader of the opposition Assimi Goita's rise to power (File)

Nairobi, Kenya:

The African Union announced it was suspending Mali with immediate effect and threatened the impoverished country with sanctions, after a second military coup in nine months.

The putsch has sparked deep concerns over stability in the volatile Sahel region and warnings of economic penalties from across the international community.

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 move follows a similar suspension on Sunday from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

In its statement, the AU called for the military to "urgently and unconditionally return to the barracks, and to refrain from further interference in the political processes in Mali".

It warned that if the military did not hand back power to civilian transitional leaders, "the Council will not hesitate to impose targeted sanctions and other punitive measures".

Condemning the coup "in the strongest terms possible", it added it 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".

Strongman Colonel Assimi Goita was at the ECOWAS crisis summit in Ghana on Sunday to argue the military's case but has now returned to Mali.

Goita last August led army officers who overthrew elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, following mass protests over perceived corruption and a bloody jihadist insurgency.

After the takeover, the military agreed to appoint civilians as interim president and prime minister under the pressure of ECOWAS trade and financial sanctions.

- Elections Pledge -

But in a move that provoked diplomatic uproar, soldiers last week detained transitional president Bah Ndaw and prime minister Moctar Ouane, releasing them on Thursday while saying that they had resigned.

Mali's constitutional court completed Goita's rise to full power on Friday by naming him transitional president.

With the junta going back on its previous commitment to civilian political leaders, doubts have been raised about its other pledges, including a promise to hold elections in early 2022.

The junta said this week it would continue to respect that timetable, but added that it could be subject to change.

The United States and Mali's former colonial master France had both threatened sanctions in response to the second coup.

But ECOWAS, at a crisis summit in Ghana on Sunday, refrained from reimposing sanctions -- a move it had adopted after the first coup.

The 15-nation bloc still pushed for Mali to transition to civilian rule under a previously agreed timetable.

The bloc suspended Mali from ECOWAS until February 2022, "when they are supposed to hand over to a democratically elected government," Ghana's Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey said after the meeting.

Mali is among the world's poorest countries, and the previous ECOWAS sanctions hit hard.

It is also battling a jihadist insurgency which first emerged in the north of the country in 2012 and has since spread to Burkina Faso and Niger, leaving swathes of the vast nation of 19 million people outside government control.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news

«Small» Groups Don't Rule The World: China Cautions G7.

China on Sunday pointedly cautioned Group of Seven leaders that the days when "small" groups of countries decided the fate of the world was long gone, hitting back at the world's richest democracies...

NDTV News

Sky News Breakfast: The leaders arrive in Cornwall as COVID vaccines top the agenda.

Sky News Breakfast: The leaders arrive in Cornwall as COVID vaccines top the agenda.

On Sky News Breakfast with Kay Burley: - G7 leaders expected to commit to provide one billion COVID vaccine doses to the rest of the world including 100 million coming from the UK. - Thousands of adults with learning disabilities are still being d...

EU must be 'more flexible' on Northern Ireland - Raab.

EU must be 'more flexible' on Northern Ireland - Raab.

The Foreign Secretary has told Sky News that the 'ball is firmly in the EU's court' when it comes to a solution to the Northern Ireland protocol. Speaking from the G7 summit in Cornwall, Dominic Raab also touched on the coronavirus crisis, stating...

Pentagon allegedly partnering with 'Islamic activists' to 'root out extremists'.

Pentagon allegedly partnering with 'Islamic activists' to 'root out extremists'.

Investigative journalist Daniel Greenfield reacts to reports army officer told troops 'white people are part of the problem' on 'Tucker Carlson Tonight.' #FoxNews #Tucker Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Liv...

Supply chain law makes firms accountable for abuses by supplieres - DW News.

Supply chain law makes firms accountable for abuses by supplieres - DW News.

The German parliament is expected to approve the country's supply chain law. It aims to make corporations accountable for every inch of their supply chains - and any rights or environmental abuses that take place within them. Subscribe: For more n...

Doctor compares White people to parasites, Tucker Carlson reacts.

Doctor compares White people to parasites, Tucker Carlson reacts.

Fox News' Trace Gallagher reports doctor compares White people to parasites and says they can't be cured on 'Tucker Carlson Tonight.' #FoxNews #Tucker Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel ...

Lawmakers rally behind man who says he’s been wrongfully imprisoned for decades.

Lawmakers rally behind man who says he’s been wrongfully imprisoned for decades.

Kevin Strickland was convicted of a triple murder in 1979. Since then, a key witness recanted and the prosecutor’s office has said Strickland is innocent -- yet he remains behind bars.

2