Putch expressed deep concern over the stability in the volatile Sahel region and warnings of economic penalties from the international community.
The AU “decides … to immediately suspend the Republic of Mali from participating in all activities of the African Union, its organs and institutions, until normal constitutional order is restored in the country”, the body of peace and security. Council said in a statement late Tuesday.
The move follows a similar suspension from the Economic Community of West African States on Sunday (ECOWAS)
In its statement, the AU called on the military to “immediately and unconditionally return to the barracks, and to avoid further interference in the political processes in Mali”.
It warned that “the council would not hesitate to implement targeted sanctions and other punitive measures” if the military did not return power to civilian transitional leaders.
Condemning the coup “in the strongest terms”, the pair were “deeply concerned about the evolving situation in Mali and its negative impact on the gains achieved so far in the transition process in the country”.
Strongman Colonel Asimi Goita was at the ECOWAS crisis summit in Ghana on Sunday to debate the military case, but has now returned to Mali.
Goita led the army officers who overthrew the elected president last August Ibrahim Boubakar KeitaAfter mass protests over alleged corruption and a bloody jihadist insurgency.
Following the takeover, the military agreed to appoint civilians as interim president and prime minister under pressure from ECOWAS trade and financial sanctions.
But in a move that sparked a diplomatic uproar, troops last week detained transitional President Bah Nadav and Prime Minister Moctor Ouane, releasing them on Thursday saying they had resigned.
Mali’s constitutional court on Friday granted Goita full power by naming him transitional president.
Doubts have been raised about its other promises, including a promise to hold elections in early 2022, with a return to its previous commitment to civilian political leaders.
The Junta said this week it would continue to respect that timetable, but said it could be subject to change.
Both the United States and Mali’s former colonial master France threatened sanctions in response to the second coup.
But ECOWAS, at a crisis summit in Ghana on Sunday, refrained from reimposing restrictions – a move it had adopted after an earlier coup.
The 15-nation bloc still pushed Mali to transition to civilian rule under a previously agreed timetable.
Ghana’s Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Bochwe said after the meeting, the bloc suspended Mali from ECOWAS until February 2022, “when they are to be handed over to a democratically elected government.”
Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world, and past ECOWAS restrictions hit hard.
It is also battling a jihadist insurgency, which first emerged in the north of the country in 2012 and has spread ever since. Burkina Faso and Niger, leaving the vast nation of 19 million people out of government control.
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