AU suspends Mali over coup, will send mission

AP News
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Posted: Mar 23, 2012 10:56 AM
AU suspends Mali over coup, will send mission

African Union officials say they have suspended Mali and will send a mission there to assess the situation after mutinous soldiers declared a coup in the West Africa nation.

AU Chairman Jean Ping told a delegation that met in Ethiopia's capital on Friday for an emergency peace and security meeting that a mission would deploy to Bamako on Friday.

Ping didn't immediately give any details about the mission. He said Mali is going through a "very serious crisis" and that the coup is a big setback for the country and for all democratic efforts across Africa.

Ping's spokesman Noureddine Mezni said that according to AU rules, Mali would be temporarily suspended as a member of the continentwide body.

Soldiers in the capital declared the coup on Thursday.