Africa Union Lifts Mali’s Suspension

The African Union’s Peace and Security Council has lifted Mali’s suspension that was imposed following a military takeover of the country in August.

Mali was suspended from the 55-member continental body in August after soldiers, calling themselves the National Committee for the Salvation of People (CSNP), seized power and ousted then-President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.

The military junta has since handed power to a transitional civilian president, although high-ranking soldiers hold top positions in a new cabinet.

The formation of a transitional government was a key demand before the lifting of Mali’s suspension.

The AU council in a tweet on Friday announced that Mali can now fully participate in all AU’s activities.

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The move came four days after the West African country’s Interim President Colonel Bah Ndaw, who was sworn in last month, appointed a 25-strong government tasked with leading the country to elections.

One of the August 18 coup leaders, Colonel Sadio Camara, was named defence minister; Colonel Modibo Kone got the security and civil protection portfolio while Colonel Ismael Wague, who broke the news of the coup in a dramatic night-time television broadcast, was appointed national reconciliation minister.

Civilians, including former prosecutor Mohamed Sidda Dicko as justice minister and former ambassador Zeini Moulaye as foreign affairs minister, were also appointed to the transitional government.

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The chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has welcomed the security council’s decision to lift the suspension.

He assured Mali of the “AU’s full support to the transitional government and people of Mali towards constitutional order, peace and stability”.

Days earlier, the 15-member Economic of West African States (ECOWAS) had lifted sanctions it imposed following the coup.

ECOWAS stringent sanctions had included border closures and a ban on commercial trade and financial flows but not basic necessities, drugs, equipment to fight coronavirus, fuel or electricity.

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