Mali has been suspended by the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) following last week’s overthrow by the military.
The decision, by the body that represents countries where people speak French, comes days after the regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also suspended Mali from its membership. ECOWAS had held unsuccessful talks with the military junta over a return to democratic rule.
On Wednesday, the European Union has also temporarily suspended its training missions in Mali after the military coup that removed president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from power.
EU officials said, the two missions, training Mali’s army and police as part of international efforts to stabilize Mali and extend the state’s authority have been frozen because they were designed to support “the legitimate national authorities.
The coup leaders have said they were not interested in holding power and would hold fresh elections within a “reasonable time”.
A demand by African heads of state to reinstate former president Ibrahim Keïta is now off the table after he withdrew interest to return as leader.
West African mediators and Mali’s coup leaders are discussing the possibility of a transitional government.
EU training will continue in neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso, officials said.
South Africa To Reopen International Travel
South Africa says it will reopen its borders to international travel next month. President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country has seen a significant drop in daily new coronavirus infections.
South Africa is the worst hit nation on the continent with more than six hundred sixty-five thousand confirmed COVID-19 cases. The virus also claimed more than 16,000 lives in the country. So far, more than 4 million coronavirus tests have been conducted.
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said travellers must present a 72-hours certification of covid-19 negative result.
Authorities say airports in Johannesburg and Cape Town are the only other two airports that will be open to let locals travel abroad and receive foreign visitors from countries deemed non-high-risk.
South Africa: Ramaphosa Backs Removal Of Statues ‘Glorifying Racism’
South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has given a nod to the removal of statues that glorify the country’s apartheid past. Ramaphosa said “any symbol, monument or activity that glorifies racism, or represents ugly past, has no place in democratic South Africa.
The campaign to remove statues of historical apartheid figures has been growing in the country, gaining support mainly from blacks.
The South African president said in a virtual address on Thursday “monuments glorifying divisive past should be re-positioned and relocated. He made the remark as the country marked heritage day, an annual public holiday, to celebrate the country’s diverse cultures.
Ramaphosa said removal of the statues should not be taken as erasing history, but as a way of “being sensitive to the lived experiences of the country’s people. He said the objective is to build a united nation.
Mali’s Interim President To Be Sworn Into Office
Mali’s new interim president Bah Ndaw is due to be sworn into office today. The former defence minister was picked by coup leader, Colonel Assimi Goita, to head a transitional government until elections are held.
The military junta in Mali took over power and forced Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta out of office five weeks ago. ECOWAS leaders have overseen negotiations for a return to democracy. The appointment of a civilian president was a condition for the west African regional group, ECOWAS, to lift the sanctions it earlier imposed after the coup.
Mali leaders are hoping ECOWAS will lift sanctions on the country after the inauguration. The new government is expected to be in office for a transition period of 18 months that will lead to an election.
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