African Union Lifts Mali’s Suspension After Releasing Prime Minister,11 Politicians Arrested During Military Coup

African Union Lifts Mali’s Suspension After Releasing Prime Minister,11 Politicians Arrested During Military Coup

By Spy Uganda Correspondent

Mali: The African Union on Friday lifted the suspension on Mali which went into effect after a military coup which toppled the West African nation’s government in August.

READ ALSO: Mali Coupe: Ex-Defence Minister Appointed Interim President, Junta Leader Named VP

The decision to lift the suspension comes three days after the West African regional bloc ECOWAS announced it was ending its tough post-coup sanctions on Mali, saying it wished to back the country’s return to civilian rule.

In a communique, the regional heads of state cited “significant advances” towards a return to democracy in Mali, noting the selection of a civilian president and prime minister to head the process.

READ ALSO: Endless War: Mali Junta Trashes Opposition Deals, Backs 18-Months Transition Government

The sanctions included border closures and a ban on commercial trade and financial flows but not basic necessities, drugs, equipment to fight corona virus, fuel and electricity.

“The Peace and Security Council, in view of recent positive political developments, has decided to lift the suspension it had imposed against Mali,” the AU’s 15-member security body said in a post on Twitter.

READ ALSO: AU Suspends Mali Over ‘Unconstitutional’ President’s Oust From Power

The 55-nation AU quickly condemned the “unconstitutional change of government” after former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was forced out in August by mutineer soldiers following mass protests.

The coup was bloodless but triggered widespread alarm among Mali’s neighbours.

A coup in 2012 was followed by an uprising in northern Mali which morphed into an armed rebellion, claiming thousands of lives and threatening neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.

This year’s coup came after months of protests over the country’s armed rebellion, economic struggles and chronic inter-ethnic violence.

READ ALSO: Breaking:Mali Gov’t Overthrown, President & Prime Minister Arrested In Military Coup

ECOWAS also called on the transitional authorities to release all remaining detainees arrested since the August 18 coup, when democratically elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was forced to resign after the junta surrounded his home and fired shots into the air.

The regional bloc had insisted that the transitional government be headed by civilians, though junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita is staying on as vice president.

On Monday, Prime Minister Moctar Ouane announced the government of 25 ministers, four of them military officials,those positions are the ministries of defense, security, territorial administration and national reconciliation.

READ ALSO: Mali Opposition Rejects 75yr President’s Concessions, Demand Resignation Amid Deadly Protests

Armed movements from the north that signed the 2015 peace agreement have entered the government for the first time with two ministerial portfolios.

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