AU Commission chief Jean Ping expressed the bloc’s “total rejection” of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) declaration of a homeland in the north. In a statement, Ping “firmly condemns this announcement, which is null and of no value whatsoever.”
The MNLA captured northern Mali along with Ansar Dine, a much smaller Islamist group, over the past two weeks in the aftermath of a coup by rebellious soldiers in the capital Bamako. Ping also slammed the seizure of the Algerian consulate in Gao in the north east of the coup-wracked country by Islamist gunmen and demanded an immediate release of abducted diplomats.
The pan-African bloc has suspended Mali and on Tuesday imposed travel bans and an asset freeze on the junta after it failed to heed calls to restore constitutional order.
The AU and its member states will spare no efforts to contribute to the restoration of the authority of the Republic of Mali on its entire territory