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Daily Briefing: Mali Military Rulers Delay First Meeting Over Transfer of Powers, Agrees to 12-month Programme

Almost two weeks after removing former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in a coup. The country’s military rulers have failed to invite prominent opposition figures to a planned forum on the country’s political future.

The coup-makers had invited civic groups, political organisations and former rebels to consultations on Saturday, but said in a statement that the meeting was postponed to a later date.

The meeting ultimately was cancelled and the junta leadership instead met with imam Mahmoud Dicko, an opposition leader who on Friday urged the junta to speed up the transition to civilian rule so Mali could avoid further crushing financial sanctions.

The so-called June 5 Movement, an opposition coalition that in recent months had organised large protests against Keita, had not been invited to participate in Saturday’s meeting.

Transition to civilian rule

West African leaders said on Saturday the leader of the yet to be formed Transitional government will not be allowed to run in the country’s next elections.

A declaration by ECOWAS Heads of State and Government urged the military junta which has remained in power since the ouster of President Ibrahim Boubacar to transfer power to a civilian-led transitional government.

The military junta, which had insisted on a insisted on a three-year programme, settled for the formation of a civilian transitional government to run the affairs of the country for the next 12 months, following pressure from the ECOWAS leaders.

The latest development comes after the regional body said earlier this week it would also consider a transitional government led by a retired army officer.

ECOWAS deployed a mediation team to Mali last weekend in search of a peaceful solution to the political crisis in the West African nation.

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