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Mali Coup Leaders Agree To Return Power

Mali's coup leaders entered into an agreement with the the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to return power to the civilian government in exchange for end of sanctions against the military junta, report said citing the Mali state television.

Rebel military officials, led by Captain Amadou Sanogo, reportedly agreed to set up a transition process leading to a presidential election. The transition will be supervised by an interim prime minister.

The announcement to return power came shortly after Mali's Tuareg rebels, who had captured large areas of the Sahara region in the north of the country, declared independence for a region they call Azawad.

The rebels seized the area in a three-day offensive amidst chaos arising from the military coup that ousted the government of President Amadou Toumani Toure. The coup was triggered by dissatisfaction among a large section of the military over the government's failure to address their demands for better supplies and arms to tackle the Tuareg uprising.

Earlier, the ECOWAS had imposed diplomatic as well as trade and financial sanctions on Mali after the new military rulers ignored an April-2 deadline to return power to the country's democratically-elected government. Subsequently, the African Union (AU) also imposed similar sanctions on Mali.

by RTT Staff Writer

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