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Mali Officially Disbands Military Junta

Col. Assimi Goita, center, who has declared himself the leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, is accompanied by group spokesman Ismael Wague, left, and group member Malick Diaw, center-left, as they meet with a high-level delegation from the West African regional bloc known as ECOWAS, at the Ministry of Defense in Bamako, Mali, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. Top West African officials are arriving in Mali’s capital following a coup in the nation this week to meet with the junta leaders and the deposed president in efforts to negotiate a return to civilian rule. (AP Photo)

Mali has officially disbanded its military junta, according to a government decree seen by AFP on Tuesday, over five months after the army deposed president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

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The junta briefly governed the country after the August 18 coup and formally remained in place even after the putschists handed power to a civilian interim government.

“The National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) is dissolved,” said the decree, dated January 18, which AFP obtained from a military official.

Young army officers launched the coup after weeks of anti-Keita protests, fuelled partly by frustrations over perceived government corruption, and the president’s inability to end a jihadist conflict that has raged since 2012.

Under the threat of international sanctions, the officers handed power between September and October to a caretaker government, which is meant to rule for 18 months before staging elections.

But some have raised doubts about the government’s ability to stick to its timetable so soon after the coup, and amid conflict.

Mali’s military has also retained a tight grip on the interim government. Coup leader Colonel Assimi Goita is the interim vice president.

The 15-member Economic Community of West African States, which has mediated Mali’s political strife, urged the interim government on January 12 to disband the junta.

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Written by PH

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