ECOWAS, AU Suspends Mali Over Second Coup In 9 Months

The African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have suspended Mali’s membership with immediate effect following a second military coup in nine months.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was the first to suspend Mali from the regional bloc on Monday, May 31, 2021. The decision was announced after an emergency meeting of the sub-regions leaders in Accra, Ghana yesterday by the chairman of ECOWAS, President Akufo-Addo, to deliberate on the political crisis in Mali.

This decision comes after Col. Assimi Goita effectively assumed leadership of Mali’s transition government, backed by the constitutional court

Chairman of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana said the parley would holistically review the situation and impose appropriate measures.

The AU today, June 2, joined the ECOWAS in their decision to suspend Mali while also threatening sanctions.

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 on Tuesday.

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”.

What We Know About The Recurring Coup In Mali

Last August, Goita led army officers who overthrew elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, following mass protests over perceived corruption and a bloody 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.

Retired Soldier “Bah N’daw” and former Defence Minister was instated on Friday the 25th of September, 2020 as Mali’s interregnum Civilian President but was arrested on Monday, May 24, 2021, alongside the Prime Minister Moctar Ouane and Defence Minister Souleymane Doucoure and taken to a military base in Kati outside the capital Bamako in another coup championed by Col. Assimi Goita.

Goita has now taken over power in Mali in the ‘coup within a coup’ that has since sacked Interim President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane.

Reacting to the development, President Emmanuel Macron of France warned that his country would withdraw troops from the Francophone African nation if the political instability degenerates to Islamist radicalisation.

The European nation has 5,100 troops in the Sahel region fighting militancy.

The United States Department of State said it would halt its security assistance to Mali following the latest developments.

“We are now suspending all security assistance that benefits the Malian security and defense forces that we had continued previously under available authorities,” a statement said.

Patsy Nwogu

Reporting on data-driven featured stories and investigations.

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