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Mali must appoint civilian government immediately, says regional bloc

Mali must appoint civilian government immediately, says regional bloc”

Ecowas slapped sanctions on Mali after the 18 August coup, closing borders and banning trade and financial flows, and called for elections.

On Saturday, the military governors pushed through a charter that said the interim president can be a soldier or a civilian and has not yet indicated when the new government would be named.

"My reason for this meeting is simple".

"The minute that leadership is put in place through the processes they themselves have agreed upon in Mali, the sanctions that have been placed against Mali will be lifted by Ecowas".

"Closure should be brought to the matter now", he said.

He was set to deliver a speech behind closed doors to the assembled leaders from across the region outlining his plans.

He said the region's leaders agreed that the transition to democratic rule in Mali must take a maximum of 18 months and the transitional government should be heeded by a civilian.

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"A delegation from the junta went to Accra to negotiate and discuss the fate of Mali without involving the M5-RFP ( the 5 June Movement - Rally of Patriotic Forces opposition coalition)", said Dr Choguel Kokala Maiga, President of the M5-RFP strategic committee.

It underscored its objections on Tuesday, while stressing it did not want to "break or get involved in a conflict" with the junta.

The President made these comments at the gathering of West African heads of State in Ghana to deliberate on possible solutions to the political crisis in Mali following a coup to oust President Bubakar Keïta in August.

He had been facing deep anger over an eight-year-old jihadist insurgency, economic problems and entrenched corruption. The military junta over the weekend adopted a "transition charter".

Regional presidents met junta leaders on Tuesday in Ghana in an attempt to quicken the transition.

Mali's neighbours are anxious to avoid the fragile Sahel state spiralling into chaos.

Last month's coup is Mali's fourth since gaining independence from France in 1960.



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