News ID: 273617
Published: 0242 GMT September 01, 2020

Mali junta to hold transition talks as pressure mounts

Mali junta to hold transition talks as pressure mounts
The coup in Mali followed popular street protests against ousted president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Mali's junta, which seized power two weeks ago, will hold transition talks with political parties and civil society groups this weekend following mounting pressure for a quick handover to civilian rule.

"These meetings aim at drawing up a roadmap for the transition, to define the outlines and organs of the transition and to define the charter of the transition," the junta said in a statement Tuesday, AFP reported.

The August 18 putsch has prompted Mali's neighbors along with ally and former colonial ruler France to call for a swift transfer of power, amid worries over instability in a country struggling with a terrorism, ethnic violence, endemic corruption and economic malaise.

The military rulers have this time invited to the talks the June 5 Movement, which spearheaded a protest movement that led to the toppling of the country’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

The movement was not invited for transition talks last Saturday when the junta called off discussions at the last minute.

The other players invited to the talks on Saturday and Sunday include former rebels, unions and representatives from the media.

The movement has demanded that the military rulers give it a role in the transition to civilian rule, which the military has promised without setting a timetable.

The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States regional bloc has been piling pressure on the junta to hand over power quickly, fearing that the crisis could impact neighboring states.

ECOWAS mediator and former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, said last week that the coup leaders wanted a three-year transition period.

This was rejected by the bloc, which has demanded an immediate civilian transition and elections within 12 months.

ECOWAS slapped sanctions on Mali after the coup, including a closure of borders and ban on trade and financial flows.


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