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AU chair Ramaphosa condemns ‘unconstitutional change of govt’ in Mali

The AU chairperson on Wednesday called for an immediate return to civilian rule and for the military to return to their barracks.

This frame grab obtained by AFP from ORTM (Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision du Mali) on 19 August 2020 shows Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announcing his resignation on national television, as well as the dissolution of parliament and the government, after his arrest following a military revolt. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – African Union (AU) chairperson, President Cyril Ramaphosa, on Wednesday condemned what he called “the unconstitutional change of government” in Mali.

Wednesday saw unprecedented political developments in Mali which led to President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita being held hostage by soldiers before making a televised address where he announced his resignation.

Ramaphosa called for an immediate return to civilian rule and for the military to return to their barracks.

“President Ramaphosa demands that the Malian military release from detention the president, the prime minister, ministers, and other government executives.

“President Ramaphosa calls for an immediate return to civilian rule and for the military to return to their barracks,” the African Union said in a statement.

The AU, which has been criticised for being silent on the unrest in Zimbabwe, said that it was concerned by the developments in Mali and demanded that the military release Keita.

Keita won a second term in the 2018 poll, but since June has faced huge street protests over corruption, the mismanagement of the economy, and a dispute over legislative elections.

Ramaphosa urged the people of Mali, political parties, and civil society to observe the rule of law and engage in peaceful dialogue in order to resolve their challenges.

“President Ramaphosa further urged African leaders and the entire international community to denounce and reject the military-led unconstitutional change of government and to assist the people of Mali to return to civilian and democratic rule,” the statement read.

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