The Military wants Three-year Transition, Keita to be Freed

 The Military wants Three-year Transition, Keita to be Freed

The military government that seized power in Mali wants a military-led transitional body to rule the country for three years and has agreed to release deposed President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, a source in a visiting West African delegation said on Sunday.

“The junta has affirmed that it wants a three-year transition to review the foundations of the Malian state. This transition will be directed by a body led by a soldier, who will also be head of state,” a source in the ECOWAS delegation in capital Bamako told the AFP news agency.

“The government will also be predominantly composed of soldiers” under the military government’s proposal, the source said on condition of anonymity.

Leaders of the military government led by Colonel Assimi Goita and mediators from ECOWAS, West Africa’s regional bloc, led by Nigeria’s former president, Goodluck Jonathan, met behind closed doors all day on Sunday and are due to resume discussions on Monday.

“We have been able to agree on a number of points but not yet on all the discussions,” Jonathan told reporters on Sunday night after some nine hours of negotiations.

A spokesman for the military government, Colonel Ismael Wague, said: “We reached compromise on certain aspects and the negotiations will continue tomorrow.”

Neither gave details on what issues they had reached agreement on, and what were the outstanding issues.

The AFP source said the military government has agreed to “free president Keita”, who has been detained along with other political leaders since the coup on Tuesday, and he “will be able to return to his home” in Bamako.

“And if he wants to travel abroad for treatment, that is not a problem,” the ECOWAS source said.


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