ECOWAS, Mali junta fail to reach agreement on transitional government

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Talks between West African mediators and Mali’s military coup leaders ended on Monday after three days of discussions without any decision on the make-up of a transitional government.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) dispatched negotiators to Mali at the weekend in a bid to reverse President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s removal from power last week.

But diplomats said talks had focused more on who would lead Mali and for how long, rather than the possibility of reinstating the president.

Leader of the ECOWAS mission and former Nigerian President,  Goodluck Jonathan, had earlier said they requested and were granted access to Keita.

“President Keita told us that he has resigned. That he was not forced to do so, “Jonathan had said.

“That he does not want to return to politics and that he wants a quick transition to allow the country to return to civilian rule.”

However, military junta spokesman, Colonel Ismael Wague, said mediators would report to regional heads of state ahead of a summit on Mali this week but the final decision on the interim administration would be decided by Malians.

“There were discussions on both sides, given that at this stage nothing has been set down, nothing has been decided, and that as far as we are concerned, the final architecture of the transition will be discussed and defined by us,” Wague said.

“Mediators will discuss this with the heads of state so they can lift or at least ease the sanctions. Sanctions are not good for us or the population.”




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