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Mali opposition opposes junta proposal on transition period

On Sunday, the opposition coalition known as M5-RFP publicly objected to the junta’s plan, which was announced Saturday after three days of talks on Mali’s political future.

“The final document read at the closing ceremony was not consistent with the deliberations of the various groups, including the majority choice of a transition led by a civilian,” the M5-RFP statement said.

The junta proposed that the transition be led by either a military or civilian leader, which leaves open the possibility that the military officers who seized power could remain at the helm for another 18 months until elections are organized.

The 15-nation West African regional bloc known as ECOWAS has warned that by Tuesday the junta must designate a civilian leader to head a one-year transition period or else the country could face further sanctions. ECOWAS has already stopped financial transfers into the country and has closed its borders with Mali.

Junta leader Col. Assimi Goita said he hoped for the support of the international community after the military leaders agreed to reduce the transition period to 18 months after initially proposing three years.

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