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“The junta said it wants to make a three-year transition to review the foundations of the Malian state. This transition will be led by a body chaired by a military officer, who will also be head of state,” a source in the delegation of the Community of West African States (ECOWAS) told AFP at the end of the second day of negotiations with the new team in power in Bamako. A member of the junta confirmed to the AFP “the three years of transition with a military president.
According to the same ECOWAS source, the junta agreed to “release President Keïta”, whom it has held since the coup d’état last Tuesday, “who will be able to return to his home” in Bamako. “And if he wishes to travel for treatment, there is no problem,” said the source.
As for Prime Minister Boubou Cissé, arrested at the same time as President Keïta and detained in the military camp of Kati, in the suburbs of the capital, “we have obtained from the junta that it agrees that he is in a secure residence in Bamako,” added this West African official. All information confirmed by the source of the junta.
The second day of negotiations led to progress without a full agreement, and were due to resume on Monday. “We were able to agree on some points but not on all points of discussion,” said the head of the West African delegation, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who was mandated by ECOWAS to try to restore “constitutional order” in Mali, after several hours of meetings.
We arrived in Bamako this afternoon to continue with the@ecowas_cedeao mediation & peace talks towards resolving Mali's political crisis & restoring normalcy in this beautiful West African country. We'Il continue to engage Malian stakeholders until lasting peace is found.
– GEJ pic.twitter.com/w7jT8W7Tec
— Goodluck E. Jonathan (@GEJonathan) August 22, 2020
IBK had been forced to announce his resignation during the night of Tuesday 18 August to Wednesday after being arrested by the military. On Saturday, several ECOWAS envoys were able to meet with the deposed head of state. “We saw President Keïta,” confirmed Goodluck Jonathan, who said: “It’s okay.
Previously, the ECOWAS envoys had been received for about thirty minutes by members of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) set up by the junta, including the country’s new strong man, Colonel Assimi Goïta.
The acclaimed soldiers
The President of the Ecowas Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, who hopes to “be able to finalse everything by Monday”, stressed the military’s “willingness to really move forward”. “We need results because on 26 August, the heads of state of ECOWAS will meet to see if we will increase sanctions against the junta or if we loosen our grip,” explained a member of the delegation.
Mali’s neighboring countries, meeting in an extraordinary summit, had demanded on Thursday 20 August the “restoration” of IBK and decided to send this delegation to Bamako, the fourth of former President Goodluck Jonathan since the beginning of the crisis that has shaken Mali since the disputed legislative elections in the spring.
Elected in 2013 and re-elected in 2018, IBK was strongly contested in the streets, through a mixed opposition movement demanding his resignation.
The military in power, mostly trained in France, the United States or Russia, promised to quickly put in place a “political transition”. They were cheered on Friday by thousands of people in central Bamako.
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On Saturday morning, several dozen supporters of President Keïta attempted to demonstrate in Bamako, before being dispersed by the police.
Denounced by the international community, the military coup d’état did not generate any notable opposition in Bamako. The Malians resumed their activities the day after the putsch and the national television station, ORTM, continued its programmes.
The military in power promised to quickly put in place a ‘political transition’. They were cheered on Friday by thousands of people in the center of Bamako.
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