Mali Junta: Military Agree To Set Keita Free, Demand Three Years To Restore Normalcy

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The Junta that seized power in Mali demands that the military administration to administer the country for three years until normalcy is achieved, but has agreed to free the ousted President Boubakar Keita from custody. Last week in Mali, the Military ousted President Ibrahim Boubakar Keita from office over continued protest from masses against the plunging economy and unabated insecurity that has bedeviled the country. Source from the West African delegation revealed that the junta has affirmed that a three years administration is okay for them to restore normalcy and review the foundation of the country. The transition would be led by a military officer who will also be the head of state.

A junta official confirmed to AFP that “the three-year transition would have a military president and a government mostly composed of soldiers”.

Punch reported that the soldiers agreed to free the detained Keita and his other political allies and would be allowed to return to his Home in Bamako. “And if he wants to travel abroad for (medical) treatment, that is not a problem,” said the source from ECOWAS, which stands for the Economic Community of West African States.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boubou Cisse who was also arrested alongside Keita will also be taken to safe custody. Although the coup was frowned at by many, however, opposition from Bamako celebrated the Military describing it as a giant stride in the street of Bamako.

The junta has said it has “completed the work” of the protesters and has vowed to stage elections “within a reasonable time”. However, Mali neighboring states ECOWAS demanded that they wanted a reinstatement of the President not just his release from custody.

The coup has heightened concern especially in the neighboring states of Burkina-Faso and Niger over the activities of insurgents. The negotiation is set to resume today with the military authority in Mali capital city.

Former Nigerian President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, head of the ECOWAS delegation informed newsmen that, “We have reached several agreements but we have not reached agreement on all the issues,” Both the regional delegation and the military officers “want the country to move on” after the coup, he said. “We are just discussing the way forward.”

Jonathan met Keita on Saturday and said that he seemed “very fine”. Keita was elected into power first in 2013 on a mandate of wanting to unite the fractured country.

He was later re-elected in 2018 for another five-year term, but he failed to address the security situation in the country where the country was slipping into anarchy. He was also accused of plunging the economy into woes.

Meanwhile, the ECOWAS Commission Chief, Jean-Claude Kassi expressed optimism that talks may be finalized today considering the military zeal of moving forward.

He said, “We need results because, on August 26, the ECOWAS heads of state meet to say whether they will strengthen sanctions against the junta, or if the grip on them will be loosened,” said a member of the delegation.

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