The African Union had earlier suspended Mali after August 2020 coup but reinstated the country a few weeks later after the heads of the new civilian-led transitional government were announced.

A convoy of FAMA (Malian Armed Force) escorting the new President of Mali's transitional government Colonel Assimi Goita on May 31, 2021.
A convoy of FAMA (Malian Armed Force) escorting the new President of Mali's transitional government Colonel Assimi Goita on May 31, 2021. (AFP)

The African Union has suspended Mali's membership in response to last week's military coup and threatened sanctions if a civilian-led government is not restored, it said in a statement.

The African Union called for "an unimpeded, transparent and swift return to the civilian-led transition ... failing which, the Council will not hesitate to impose targeted sanctions," the AU's Peace and Security Council said on Tuesday.

READ MORE: What prompted a 'coup within a coup' in Mali?

The military arrested interim President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane last week and pressured them to resign, derailing a transition to democratic elections after another military coup last August ousted the previous administration.

Former vice president Assimi Goita, a colonel who led the August coup and last week's revolt, was declared president on Friday.

READ MORE: Mali military releases now-ousted president, PM

Mali's neighbours and international powers fear the latest revolt will jeopardise a commitment to hold a presidential election in February, and undermine a regional fight against militants, some of which are based in Mali's desert north.

READ MORE: ECOWAS suspends Mali's membership over twin coups

West African regional bloc ECOWAS suspended Mali on Sunday.

The African Union suspended Mali after last August's coup but reinstated the country a few weeks later after the heads of the new civilian-led transitional government were announced.

Source: Reuters