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Mali: ECOWAS clips junta’s wings, Traoré transition extended

Mali ex-junta leader Captain Sanogo (center)Mali ex-junta leader Captain Sanogo (center)
May 21, 2012

ECOWAS has reached a deal with Mali’s former junta to extend the duration of the transition under the leadership of the interim President Dioncounda Traoré.

In a statement released after talks in Bamako, the sub-regional bloc said the purpose of the weekend meeting was “to deliver a strong message to the military junta against meddling in the country's political process.”

Traoré, the former Speaker of the National Assembly, will now continue heading the transition until elections are held, as the 40 days constitutional time frame ends.

“The (ECOWAS) Ministers also warned the leader of the junta, Capt. Amadou Sanogo to refrain from making public pronouncements including statements to the media which imply he is still in control, warning that failure to comply with these decisions would result in the reinstatement of targeted sanctions against members of the junta and their associates,” the ECOWAS press statement said.

The sub-regional bloc had said it wanted the transition to last for one year to give time for organizing the polls and dealing with the crisis in northern Mali, which is being controlled by several rebel groups.

But coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo earlier called for a national convention to come up with a new transitional administration to take the country to elections.

Under the weekend deal, ex-junta leader Captain Sangogo will be recognized as former head of state and he will enjoy all the amenities befitting that status.

The Captain overthrew the constitutionally elected President Amadou Toumani Toure last March in a coup.

Regarding the situation in Guinea Bissau, where a junta overthrew a civilian government on April 12, ECOWAS is calling on sub-regional states that pledged troops for its mission in the country “to expedite action towards the full deployment of the 629 strong mixed force.”

ECOWAS, which had earlier said some US$15 million was needed to deploy forces in Mali and Guinea Bissua, has “requested immediate financial assistance.”

The International Contact Group on Guinea Bissau has been revived.


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