The African Union has suspended Mali from the union in a move that will stop the West African country from undertaking any union activities.
In a statement released on Tuesday 1st June 2021, the peace and security council of the AU stated that this decision was reached after the recent Coup d’état that saw transition leaders detained and later overthrown by Colonel Assimi Goita.
According to the African Union’s statement, among the reasons that necessitated Mali’s suspension were concerns over growing tension after the military took over for the second time in about nine months and that this would derail the much anticipated transition process.
The Union went ahead to issue threats of possible sanctions in the coming days if the military fails to let civilians run the transition government.
The peace and Security Council of the AU has also reiterated that immediate release from house arrest of former interim leaders Bah Ndaw and Moctar Ouane was among the ultimatums given besides immediate return of the military to the barracks for the later to stop interfering with the political process in Mali.
Suspension from the AU comes at a time when Mali is facing a difficult political moment amidst two coup d’états; the first having happened in August 2020 when President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was overthrown by the military and the second coming recently in late May 2021 when interim President Bah Ndaw and Interim Prime minister Moctar Ouane were detained for days before being forced to resign after which they now face house arrest.
The constitutional court declared on 24 May 2021 that Colonel Assimi Goita – leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the people, was to lead the country in the transition process, a move that has since been rebuked by the countries in the West African regional block ECOWAS and now the AU.
While the transition government was expected to hold elections in February 2022, the AU is now urging that 38 year old Colonel Assimi Goita should leave the country under the watch of civilians, threatening to hold the suspension of Mali from the AU until constitutional order is restored.