The African Union (AU) announced on Wednesday that Mali’s membership in the regional organization had been suspended because of the military coup in the country and the arrest of its President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. This was reported by the newspaper Le Figaro, referring to the AU Peace and Security Council.
The organization “suspends (membership) of Mali in the African Union until the return of constitutional order and demands the release of President Boubacar Keita, Prime Minister and other government officials forcibly arrested by the army,” the publication quotes a statement of the Peace and Security Council.
Earlier that day, AU Chairperson-in-Office, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa issued a statement condemning “unconstitutional regime change” in Mali and demanding the immediate release of the President, the Prime Minister and those arrested along with them.
The military, who seized power in Mali, said on Wednesday that they were not interested in keeping power in their hands and promised political changes that would make it possible to hold fair elections, The Guardian noted.
In a televised address to their compatriots, the putschists said they “are not interested in taking power, but in the health of the country,” so they had to intervene due to growing “chaos, anarchy and insecurity.
They also promised to “give Mali strong institutions of power that can better manage our daily lives and restore trust between the rulers and the people.
On Tuesday, a military mutiny began at a major military base in Kati, near Mali’s capital, Bamako. The rebels arrested President Keita and Prime Minister Bouba Cissé. This was followed by a statement of resignation by Keita.
The military, who seized power, announced the formation of the “National Committee for Saving the People”, the closure of Mali’s borders and the imposition of curfews from Wednesday.
The European Union condemned the gossip and demanded the immediate and unconditional release of Keita and Cisse from custody by UN Secretary General António Guterres.