Traore rejects proposal for new interim head

Abidjan - Mali's interim President Dioncounda Traore on Wednesday rejected a proposal by a former junta which staged a coup in March for a national convention to choose a caretaker head of state.

"It's a proposal but I don't think this is a solution, in any case, not a solution that has been agreed to in a deal signed by the former putchists and the Economic Community of West African States," regional bloc, he said after talks with Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, who also heads Ecowas.

Mali, once considered one of Africa's democratic success stories, was thrown into turmoil on 22 March when mid-level army officers staged a coup and ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure whose government they charged was not doing enough to fight a Tuareg rebellion in the north of the country.

The Tuareg separatists and their Islamist allies took advantage of the ensuing chaos to seize the country's vast north, including its three main towns, Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu.

Mali coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo on Monday urged interim leaders to hold talks to choose a transition president.

Sanogo is sticking to a constitutional point stating that the interim government should last only for 40 days, allowing the soldiers to lobby for a new leader to lead the country to elections.

Ecowas wants Traore to continue leading the interim government for a period of 12 months.

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