A day after mutinying soldiers detained President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita following months of protests against his rule, the African Union suspending the country’s membership.

Iran Press/Africa: The chorus of disapproval included statements from the African Union (AU), the European Union, and the United States demanding that the military leaders release Keita, Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, and other officials detained on Tuesday, according to France 24.

Keita – under pressure from months of protests over economic stagnation, and corruption – said in a televised address hours after he was detained that coup leaders had given him no choice but to resign.

The mutinous soldiers who staged the coup, who have called themselves the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, have promised a transition to civil political rule with elections to be held in a “reasonable amount of time". In the meantime, they have closed the country's borders and announced a nighttime curfew.

France and other international powers as well as the AU have denounced the mutiny, fearful that the fall of Keita could further destabilize the former French colony and West Africa's entire Sahel region.

The AU has suspended Mali's membership in response to the military’s seizure of power and the detention of the president, the bloc announced in a tweet on Wednesday. The suspension will last until constitutional order is restored, it said, demanding the release of the deposed president and other senior officials.

The current chairman of the AU, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, called for the "immediate return to civilian rule".


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