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Mali Junta Leaders Resume Three-Day Summit on Plan for Transition Government

Security forces fire tear gas at people gathered outside a conference to discuss a transition to a civilian government in Bamako, Mali, Sept. 10, 2020.

Leaders of Mali's military junta will resume their three-day “national consultation” Friday to outline a transition to a civilian government, a month after deposing President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

On Thursday, Colonel Assimi Goita, the head of Mali's junta, told political parties and civil society groups gathered in the capital, Bamako, that everyone “must put aside their differences to lay the foundations for a reformed Mali, refounded on work, efficiency and social justice.”

Goita and a group of mutinous soldiers carried out the coup, which led to Keita's resignation on August 18.

The junta says it wants Mali to return to civilian rule, but multiple discussions with regional leaders have yet to result in an agreement on a clear path forward with civilian transitional leaders.

The West African regional bloc, ECOWAS, has insisted the junta, known as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, install civilian transition leaders by September 15 and hold an election within a year for a president and prime minister.

The military has been seeking a three-year transition, to include the writing of a new constitution.