Mali’s West African neighbours have once again agreed that the country should immediately return to civilian rule.
The decision comes after last week’s military coup overthrowing President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.
In a virtual summit held on Friday, the 15-nation regional group Ecowas called for the “troops to return to their barracks” and for an election to be held in 12 months.
The West African heads of state said that the transition should be overseen by a civilian.
But the military junta – known as the National Committee for the People’s Salvation – has talked about a transition lasting up to two years.
The soldiers have released President Keïta, which was one of Ecowas’ demands when envoys met with the military rebels earlier this week.
But the regional bloc says that action alone is not enough.
It had imposed sanctions on Mali after the coup, including closing borders, suspending its membership and disrupting trade.
During Friday’s summit, the heads of state said they would gradually lift those sanctions as the country returned to civilian rule.
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