Mali coup leaders agree to stand down

2012-04-07 08:23
Bamako - Mali's military junta and the West African bloc Ecowas announced a deal late on Friday that includes the lifting of sanctions and an amnesty for those involved in last month's coup.

The agreement provides a framework for a return to constitutional rule under an interim leader who will oversee democratic elections and handle the crisis in the north, where Islamists and Tuareg rebels have seized control.

It came after Mali's Tuareg rebels on Friday declared independence in the north, a move rejected by the international community and the Islamist insurgents they fought beside, as fears grew of a humanitarian crisis.

The United States, Africa and Europe dismissed the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad's (MNLA's) declaration of independence.

The declaration, long a goal of Tuareg rebels, is a bid to formalise the situation on the ground.

A democratic success since its last coup 21 years ago, Mali is now roughly divided into a Tuareg rebel-controlled north and junta-controlled south.


Ecowas chief Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast said sanctions should be lifted "immediately", Burkina Faso's foreign minister Djibril Bassole told public television station ORTM, referring to Friday's deal.

He also said President Amadou Toumani Toure, who was overthrown on March 22 and has not been seen since in public, should be able to live where he wants under army protection.

Bassole, speaking on behalf of Ecowas Mali negotiator Blaise Compaore, the president of Burkina Faso, said: "We wanted... Toure to be allowed to return to the house of his choice and that he could also be protected by the defence and security forces."

He was speaking at Kati near Bamako, the headquarters of the junta, whose head, Captain Amadou Sanogo, read out the accord signed with the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas).

At the same place coup leader Sanogo had announced on Tuesday that the junta planned legal action against Toure for "high treason and embezzlement".

The text of the deal was signed by Bassole and Sanogo, with Ivorian minister for African integration Adama Bictogo and Nigeria's foreign minister Nurudeen Muhammad as witnesses.

Interim president

Under the agreement, to be carried out "under the aegis of the Ecowas mediator and with the support of the international community," the speaker of the national assembly would become interim president with a transitional prime minister and government.

The single-chamber Malian parliament is headed by Dioncounda Traore, who is currently abroad.

The accord states that the interim president would have "a mission to organise a presidential election in the constitutional timeframe of 40 days."

However, given the "exceptional circumstances... due to the institutional crisis and the armed rebellion in the north" it would be impossible to hold elections within 40 days and so it was "indispensable to organise a political transition" until electoral lists could be revised and "accepted by all."

Read more on:    mali  |  west africa  |  coup

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.