Mali's ex-junta wants talks to decide on transition leader


Mali coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo on Monday urged interim leaders to hold talks to choose a transition president after regional mediation failed to resolve a dragging political deadlock.

Sanogo told journalists at the Kati military barracks, headquarters of the former junta, that he had called for a convention led by current interim leader Diancounda Traore to choose a transition president.

Sanogo led a group of low-ranking soldiers to oust President Amadou Toumani Toure’s government on March 22, and last month agreed to the formation of an interim government headed by Traore.

However he has not taken his hand off the wheel, and 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.

Laborious talks have taken place between the regional mediators and the soldiers, and mediators quit the country on Saturday having failed yet again to reach agreement.

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) wants Traore to continue leading the interim government for a period of 12 months.

Sanogo said Monday the negotiations “have not failed”.

“Good intentions can help us but, more than ever, we must be the architects” of a solution to the crisis.

Amid the political chaos in Bamako, the country’s vast north remains in the grip of rebel groups such as Tuareg separatists and Islamists who seized the area in the days following the coup.

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