The African Union is calling on soldiers in Mali to unconditionally release President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane. Military personnel seized the officials on Monday, after a cabinet reshuffle that did not include two soldiers who led a coup in the country in August 2020.
The AU says the move is unconstitutional.
The chairperson of the AU, DRC President Felix Tshisekedi, says the detention of the Malian officials is aimed at destabilising the political transition in the country. He insists that the stability of West African countries is important for the stability of the Sahel region.
Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahammat, has asked the military to return to their barracks and respect the political consensus which put in place the transitional leadership in Mali.
He is also urging the Malian parties to engage only in dialogue for a peaceful resolution to their political grievances.
The AU has backed the United Nations, which said any act of coercion, including forced resignations is wrong.
The AU peace and Security Council discussed the progress in Mali on Monday, just hours before the officials were arrested by the military.
A constitutional referendum in the country was planned for October 2021, with run-off presidential elections due in March 2022.
Nine months ago, a coup removed the then president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. There was also a coup in the country in 2012.
Dissecting challenges facing Mali’s transitional government with Ambassador Mahamane Cisse: