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African Union suspends Mali following coup

Mali was suspended by the African Union Wednesday after the mutinous soldiers seized power and detained the president.

"The African Union suspends Mali from the African Union until restoration of constitutional order and demands release of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the Prime Minister and other government officials forcibly detained by the army," tweeted the African Union's Peace and Security Council on Wednesday. The tweet was also shared by African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat.

The 55-member union exists to promote peace and security on the African continent; the Peace and Security Council is made up of 15 countries.

Keita announced his resignation late on Tuesday after rebel soldiers detained him at gunpoint. The mutineers have been widely condemned by the international community.

Opposition to work on political transition

Opposition leaders vowed said in a statement Wednesday to work with Mali's new military junta to work on "developing a roadmap" for a political transition.

The opposition said it would organize "the biggest patriotic rally" to celebrate the "people's victory."

Rebels warn against 'vandalism'

Speaking in response to international criticism, Mali's new military junta also urged citizens to return to normal life and stop committing acts of "vandalism" that occurred after they took power.

"The committee calls on the people to resume their activities in a healthy manner," said Ismael Wague, the spokesman for the governing military committee.

He added that no people had died during the unrest that followed Tuesday's coup, despite unconfirmed reports of several deaths. Wague also called for "an immediate halt to acts of vandalism and destruction of public buildings" and warned of fines for offenders.

Protests and unrest continued in the capital city of Bamako on Wednesday.

 

Writers