News24

Mali PM holds talks with AU chief

2012-05-26 17:25

Bamako - The prime minister of Mali's transition government arrived in Abidjan on Saturday for talks with current African Union head Alassane Ouattara, the president of Ivory Coast, on the Malian crisis.

Cheick Modibo Diarra went into the meeting the day after flying to Ouagadougou to discuss the situation with West Africa's chief mediator for Mali, Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore.

Diarra's shuttle comes as interim president Dioncounda Traore is in Paris for a medical check-up after supporters of a March coup who are opposed to him leading a 12-month transition assaulted him in his office on Monday.

Traore, already interim president from April 12, was appointed to lead the long-term transition after mediators from the 15-nation bloc Ecowas wrested a deal from coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo.

According to the deal, Sanogo will step aside with all the benefits of a former head of state.

While the transition deal was meant to ease tensions in Bamako and allow the new government to concentrate on a crisis in the north - occupied by Islamist and Tuareg rebels after the coup - many are still unhappy with it.

An advisor to Diarra said on Friday he had gone to Burkina Faso to talk about the transition, the crisis in the north, and the return to constitutional order with Compaore.