The African Union on Friday lifted its suspension of Mali that was imposed after a military coup ousted the West African nation’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August, reported Africa News.
The announcement comes three days after the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) ended its post-coup sanctions on Mali, saying it wished to support the country’s return to civilian rule. The sanctions included border closures and a ban on commercial trade and financial flows but not basic necessities, drugs, equipment to fight coronavirus, fuel or electricity.
In a post on Twitter, the African Union’s Peace and Security Council said it was satisfied by recent political developments in Mali.
“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 noted in the Twitter post.
The AU had previously condemned the “unconstitutional change of government” after president Keita was forced out in August by rebel soldiers following mass protests. The coup triggered widespread alarm among Mali’s neighbors.
Under pressure from strict sanctions by international institutions like ECOWAS and African Union, Mali’s military junta endorsed a “charter” to restore civilian rule in the country within the next 18 months and appointed a committee that appointed 70-year-old retired colonel Bah Ndaw as interim president and Colonel Assimi Goita as the vice president.
Earlier this week, Ndaw appointed a government, headed by former Foreign Affairs minister Moctar Ouane, in which junta members were given key positions.
The junta also released former Prime Minister Boubou Cisse and other officials and military personnel who were detained during the August coup on Wednesday. The release of the officials was one of the demands of the ECOWAS for lifting sanctions.
The West African regional bloc has also called out for the dissolution of the self-titled National Committee for the People’s Salvation (CNSP) which led the coup.