Captain of the military junta Amadou Sanogo (C) delivers a statement in Bamako, Mali, April 6, 2012. Mali's junta, which seized power on March 22, on Friday signed framework agreement with the ECOWAS that it would transfer power to the president of the National Assembly, the state TV report confirmed. [Xinhua/Oumar Diop]
Mali's junta, which seized power on March 22, on Friday signed framework agreement with the ECOWAS that it would transfer power to the president of the National Assembly, the state TV report confirmed.
The junta will hand over power to the president of the National Assembly, Dioncounda Traore, during the transitional period, according to the agreement which also covers the formation of a national unity government and the lifting of sanctions by the ECOWAS.
The interim leader will be in a mission to organize democratic elections, said the agreement received by Xinhua correspondents, signed between the junta's captain Amadou Sanogo and mediators.
The transitional government will have to manage the crisis in the north of the country urgently, which has been seized by Tuareg rebels, either by a negotiated final settlement of peace or by war against the attackers, according to the statement. It also provides for a general amnesty law for all members of the junta involved in the coup.
Djibril Bassole, foreign minister of Burkina Faso, said the ECOWAS, like one country, will rise against insecurity and will not accept permanent division of Mali and insecurity in the country. He also said the ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure can resume a normal life under necessary security.
Once all the previsions of the framework agreement materializes, the ECOWAS will lift all sanctions against Mali, including closing borders and freezing the country's access to the regional central bank, according to the agreement.
The agreement followed a declaration from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) of independence of "Azawad," the northern part of Mali, on Friday morning, after it proclaimed an end to its military operations as of Thursday. Taking advantage of the chaos in the western African nation after a coup on March 22, the MNLA has taken control of three important northern towns, including Timbuktu, Kidal and Gao.
However, the unilateral declaration has met rejections from international communities, including the ECOWAS, the African Union, France and the United States. The ECOWAS said Mali is one and indivisible entity and will take all necessary measures, including the use of force, to ensure the territorial integrity of the country.
ECOWAS generals met in an emergency meeting Thursday in Abidjan to discuss a military intervention plan to help Mali restore peace and security as soon as possible. ECOWAS has already ordered a 2, 000-strong force to stand by for a possible intervention in Mali.