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World: Mali: "exchanges are going well" between the junta and the ECOWAS delegation in Bamako

Mali wakes up to military rule after president forced out

  Mali wakes up to military rule after president forced out Mali awoke on Wednesday to a new chapter in its troubled history after rebel military leaders forced President Boubacar Keita from office, prompting its West African neighbours to threaten border closures and sanctions against the coup leaders. Keita, embattled by months of protests over economic stagnation, corruption and a brutal Islamist insurgency, said he had resigned to avoid bloodshed. There were few obvious traces of the previous day'sKeita, embattled by months of protests over economic stagnation, corruption and a brutal Islamist insurgency, said he had resigned to avoid bloodshed.

Le colonel Assimi Goita (au centre), qui s'est déclaré chef du Comité national pour le salut du peuple, lors d'une rencontre avec une délégation de la Cédéao à Bamako, au Mali, le 22 août 2020. © AP Colonel Assimi Goita (in the center), who declared himself head of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, during a meeting with a delegation from ECOWAS in Bamako, Mali, August 22, 2020.

At the head of a West African delegation that arrived in Bamako on Saturday, the former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said he was "very optimistic" about the talks with the junta which took power in Mali on Tuesday after overthrowing President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.

"Very optimistic": it is with these two words that ex-Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan summed up the talks started on Saturday, August 22 with the junta in power in Mali after having overthrown President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta .

Mali coup could worry Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron

  Mali coup could worry Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron A coup in Mali, West Africa, could have ramifications far beyond its borders, threatening to further destabilize across the region and jeopardizing counter-insurgency efforts led by France and the United States. © Malik Konate/AFP/Getty Images Malian soldiers are celebrated as they arrive at the Independence square in Bamako on August 18, 2020. - Mali's Prime Minister Boubou Cisse called on August 18, 2020, for "fraternal dialogue" with soldiers who seized a key military garrison and have triggered fears of a coup attempt. The prime minister also admitted that the soldiers may have "legitimate frustrations".

" We have seen President Keïta , he is doing very well", said Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday evening, the appointed mediator of the Community of West African States (ECOWAS), mandated to "ensure the return immediate constitutional order "in the Sahelian country. "The interviews are going well," he added, smiling, before rushing into the suite of his hotel.

Previously, the ECOWAS envoys had been received for about thirty minutes by the members of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People , including the new strongman of the country, Colonel Assimi Goïta . "The discussions took place in a very open atmosphere and we felt a desire to really move forward", said in the evening the president of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou.

Coup d'Etat in Mali: putschists acclaimed by the crowd in Bamako

 Coup d'Etat in Mali: putschists acclaimed by the crowd in Bamako © Provided by Le Point To the cheers of thousands of people gathered in Bamako on Friday to celebrate the fall of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, the soldiers having taken the authorities in Mali thanked "the Malian people for their support", on the eve of the arrival of a West African mission.

"The role of ECOWAS is essentially to support Mali. The solution that we must find, and I believe that everyone agrees, it is a solution which satisfies the Malians first and which is also beneficial for all the countries of the sub-region, "he added. Discussions with the junta, which "started well", will continue on Sunday and "we hope to be able to finalize everything by Monday".

"We are open to discussions"

According to the spokesman for the military, Ismaël Wagué, "the exchanges with ECOWAS are going very well". "We understood that heads of state, like the Ivorian Alassane Ouattara, are working for a relaxation, for a peaceful solution, even if they have firmly condemned our takeover. We are open to discussions," said one another source within the junta.

The West African envoys also went to Kati, a garrison town on the outskirts of Bamako that has become the center of the new power, where they met, according to this source, the personalities arrested by the military, including Prime Minister Boubou Cissé, the president of the National Assembly Moussa Timbiné, and the chief of staff of the army, General Abdoulaye Coulibaly.

West African leaders add to pressure on Mali after coup

  West African leaders add to pressure on Mali after coup West African leaders headed to Mali on Saturday days after a military coup, planning to meet the new junta as well as ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita amid escalating diplomatic pressure for a speedy return to civilian rule. Led by former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, the group from the West African bloc ECOWAS was expected in capital Bamako Saturday afternoon. A delegation official said they would meet members of the junta and later Keita, who is being held with prime minister Boubou Cisse in Kati, a military base northwest of Bamako where the coup was unleashed.

The delegation was to meet on Sunday morning the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (France, United States, Russia, United Kingdom and China).

Fourth delegation of the ECOWAS in Bamako

The neighboring countries of Mali, gathered in an extraordinary summit, had demanded Thursday the "reestablishment" of President Keïta and decided to send this delegation to Bamako, the fourth of the former president Goodluck Jonathan since the start of the socio-political crisis that has shaken Mali since the disputed legislative elections of March-April.

Elected in 2013 and re-elected in 2018, President Keïta was strongly contested in the street and a motley opposition movement demanded his resignation.

Denounced by the international community, the military coup did not arouse any notable opposition in Bamako. The Malians resumed their activities the day after the putsch and the national television, ORTM, continues its programs.

The military in power, for the most part trained in France, the United States or Russia, have promised to quickly put in place a "political transition". They were cheered on Friday by thousands of people in the center of Bamako .

Talks on ousted Mali president's fate enter second day

  Talks on ousted Mali president's fate enter second day Discussions on the fate of Mali's ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita between a West African delegation and the junta that deposed him entered a second day on Sunday. Rebel soldiers seized Keita and other leaders in a coup on Tuesday, dealing another deep blow to a country already struggling with a brutal Islamist insurgency and widespread public discontent over its government. Mali's neighbours have called for Keita to be reinstated, saying the purpose of visit by the delegation from the regional ECOWAS bloc was to help "ensure the immediate return of constitutional order".

Saturday morning, a few dozen supporters of President Keïta tried to demonstrate in Bamako, before being dispersed by the police.

The precedent of the 2012 coup d'état

As political and diplomatic discussions continue in Bamako, four soldiers were killed and one seriously injured on Saturday by an explosive device in the center of the country.

In March 2012, when the Tuareg rebels launched a major offensive in northern Mali, soldiers had already mutinied against the government's inability to cope with the situation, driving out President Amadou Toumani Touré.

But the coup d'état had precipitated the fall of northern Mali into the hands of armed Islamist groups, until they were largely driven out by an international military intervention launched by France in January 2013 and still in Classes.

The attacks by jihadist groups spread in 2015 in the center of the country, causing heavy civilian and military losses. These attacks, mixed with intercommunal violence, also spilled over into neighboring Niger and Burkina Faso.

The inability of the Malian state to control large parts of its territory in the north and the center has been denounced for months by opponents of President Keïta. The putschists also justified their intervention in particular by the insecurity reigning in the country and by the lack of means of the army.

With AFP

After military coup, uncertainty hangs over Mali’s future .
From the onset, the military junta has promised to pave the way to new elections. But some are concerned it might be trying to hold onto power in this transition. “We are going to see a lot of discussions again in the coming days so that there is an agreement that will preserve the possibility for the transition to be a positive step for Mali,” Yabi said. “But that’s not for now sure.”Many Malians aren’t necessarily for the military to go, says Sidiki Guindo, a Malian statistician and director of the polling institute GISSE, based in Bamako, Mali’s capital.

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