International Military Politics

Mali suspended from African Union, threatened with sanctions (PLUS 14-point communique)

Mali has been suspended from the African Union after Colonel Assimi Goita took power in a coup. The AU said the suspension would stay in place “until normal constitutional order has been restored.”

The African Union suspended the membership of the west African country of Mali late on Tuesday, days after the military detained the interim prime minister and president and took control.

The AU, following in the footsteps of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), also threatened Mali with sanctions if power is not returned to the civilian transitional government.

According to a decision by the Peace and Security Council, laid out in a statement published on Tuesday evening, the Republic of Mali is immediately barred from participating in African Union activities.

The statement from the union said that 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.”

Communiqué of 1001st meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council on the situation in Mali, 1st of June 2021

Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 1001st meeting held on 1 June 2021, on the situation in Mali.

The Peace and Security Council,

Recalling its previous communiques and press statements on the situation in Mali and in the Sahel region, in particular Communique [PSC/PR/COMM. (M)] adopted at its 1000th meeting held on 25 May 2021 and Communique [PSC/PR/COMM.(CMXLl)] adopted at its 941st meeting held on 19 August 2020;

Taking note of the opening remarks by the PSC Chairperson for June 2021 and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Burundi to the AU, H.E. Ambassador Joel Nkurabagaya and the statements by the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Ambassador Bankole Adeoye; H.E. Ambassador Amma Adomaa Twum-Amoah, Permanent Representative of Ghana to the AU, as the representative of ECOWAS Chair and Ambassador Fafre Camara, Permanent Representative of Mali to the AU, as well as the briefing by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission and Head of the AU Mission for the Sahel (MISAHEL), H.E. Ambassador Maman Sidikou;

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;

Also recalling the Communique of the Extraordinary Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government, held on 30 May 2021, in Accra, Ghana;

Mindful of the provisions of all relevant AU normative instruments, including the AU Constitutive Act; the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union; the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance; and the Declaration on the Framework for an OAU Response to Unconstitutional Changes of Government, adopted by the 36th Ordinary Session of the OAU Assembly of Heads of State and Government, held in Lomé, Togo, July 2000 (the Lomé Declaration);

Reaffirming the unwavering commitment of the AU to respect the sovereignty, unity and the territorial integrity of Mali, as well as the AU’s solidarity with the people and Government of Mali;

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council,

  1. Endorses the decisions adopted by the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, as outlined in paragraph 8 of its Communique issued on 30 May 2021, in Accra, Ghana;
  2. Condemns in the strongest terms possible and totally rejects coups d’état and unconstitutional changes of government in the Continent, consistent with the provisions of Article 4(p) of the AU Constitutive Act;
  3. Decides, accordingly, in line with the relevant AU normative instruments, 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;
  4. Strongly urges the Malian military to urgently and unconditionally return to the barracks, and to refrain from further interference in the political processes in Mali, while calling for the creation of conducive conditions for an unimpeded, transparent and swift return to the civilian-led transition, based on the agreed transition roadmap for Mali, failing which, the Council will not hesitate to impose targeted sanctions and other punitive measures against any spoilers of the current transition;
  5. Calls on the Malian defence and security forces to immediately lift all restrictions on all political actors, including the house arrest of H.E. Bah N’Daw and H.E. Moctar Ouane ;
  6. Calls upon the transitional authorities to respect and abide by the originally stipulated 18 months transitional period and, therefore, appeals once again to the Malian people to place the supreme interests of the country and its people above all else, to remain calm and to continue to work together within the framework of the 2015 Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Mali, which emanated from the Algiers process, with the effective participation of women, the youth and Malians in the Diaspora, to resolve the current crisis, and organize free, fair and credible democratic elections on 27 February 2022;
  7. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission through his Special Representative and Head of AU Mission in Mali and the Sahel (MISAHEL) to continue to closely coordinate with the ECOWAS Special Envoy and Mediator to Mali, H.E. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
  8. Expresses support for the United Nations Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and commends its efforts in Mali, while reiterating AU’s readiness to actively collaborate with the UN in maintaining peace, stability and security in Mali;
  9. Demands unambiguously that the current leadership of the transition process, including the Head of the Transition, Vice-President and Prime Minister, should not, under any circumstances, be candidates for the forthcoming presidential election in Mali;
  10. Calls on the military leadership and all political stakeholders to fully and unconditionally respect the transition charter while urging for the immediate appointment of a civilian Prime Minister to lead the conclusion of the transition process and to coordinate a genuinely inclusive national reconciliation and dialogue process for the stability of Mali;
  11. Further decides to constitute a PSC evaluation mission to Mali, to engage with all concerned stakeholders and the ECOWAS Special Envoy and Mediator, in order to identify areas in which the AU could provide support to Mali, particularly as this relates to the implementation of the transition programme and the holding of elections;
  12. Appeals to the international community to extend financial support to Mali in order to enable it to address the grave macroeconomic challenges facing the country and ensure that the transition plan is not derailed;
  13. Also requests the Chairperson of the Commission to monitor the situation in Mali closely and to provide regular updates to Council, at least once every quarter and as necessary; and
  14. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
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