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West African envoys quit Mali

2012-05-13 12:05

Bamako - Two West African envoys quit Mali on Saturday after failing to reach agreement with coup leaders on naming the head of a transitional government.

Ivory Coast envoy Adama Bictogo said prior to departure that talks with the ex-junta, who staged a coup on March 22, concerning the post of interim leader had failed.

Bictoga and Burkina Faso counterpart Djibril Bassole had been in Mali since Tuesday representing the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in talks with the ex-junta on resolving the political crisis.

"We were unable to reach an agreement for the moment," said Bictogo, Ivory Coast minister for African integration.

He said that under the constitution ECOWAS believed that current interim president Dioncounda Traore should continue in the job at the end of a 40-day initial period but the ex-junta "does not agree."

The ex-junta stood down following the coup and handed transitional powers to Traore on April 12 but are now said to be hoping that coup leader Amadou Haya Sanago takes over as interim leader.

The main task facing the interim government is to address the crisis in the country's north, which fell under the control of Tuareg rebels and Islamic insurgents during the coup.