The African Union has revoked Mali’s membership from the bloc, threatening further sanctions in response to last week’s military coup, the second in nine months.

The AU “decides … to immediately suspend the Republic of Mali from participation in all activities of the African Union, its organs and institutions, until normal constitutional order has been restored in the country”, the body’s Peace and Security Council said in a statement late on Tuesday.

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The regional body ordered the junta to “urgently and unconditionally return to the barracks, and to refrain from further interference in the political processes in Mali”.

Mali’s 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.

Mali’s neighbours and international powers condemned the takeover, fearing that the latest revolt will jeopardise a commitment to hold a presidential election in February, exacerbate instability in northern and central Mali and undermine a regional fight against armed groups linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS)

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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.

This fresh sanction follows few days after the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also suspended the country.

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