Mali: coup leaders pledge return to constitutional rule


Malian junta supporters shout during a meeting on March 31, 2012 in Bamako. Banner reads: '' Long live the CMRDRE. Long live Mali''.


Issouf Sanogo

Coup leaders in Mali have agreed to return the nation to constitutional rule, state television reported late Friday, according to CNN.

Mediators told the BBC that the agreement between coup ringleader and Mali's de facto ruler, Captain Amadou Sanogo, and the Economic Community of West African States lays out an election framework and lifts recent trade and economic sanctions imposed on the country. It also pardons the ruling junta.

Mali's state-run ORTM television ran the official statement, which said an interim prime minister will "organize free, transparent and democratic elections in accordance with a road map," said CNN.

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The road map does not define the military junta's future role in Mali's political affairs, according to the Associated Press, nor does it say when Sanogo will officially hand over power or set a deadline for the interim period leading up to elections.

Sanogo and a group of soldiers took control of Mali in a coup last month, triggering a policial crisis that prompted sanctions from the US, EU, and African states.

AP said many homes were already suffering elecricity shortages in the land-locked country, which imports all its fuel. 

Friday's announcement, in which Sanogo promised to hand over power to the president of the national assembly, came soon after Tuareg rebels claimed independence for the restive northern region now under their control.

National assembly head Dioncounda Traore left the country soon after the March 21 uprising, said AP