Mali’s military rulers have said they postponed their first meeting over the transfer of powers almost two weeks after removing former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in a coup by army officers.
The coup-makers had invited civic groups, political organisations and former rebels to consultations on Saturday. Still, they said in a statement that the meeting was postponed to a later date.
The army officers have promised a transition to civilian rule, though without a timetable. Hours after taking power, they said they would stage elections “within a reasonable time.”
The so-called June 5 Movement, an opposition coalition that, in recent months, had organised massive protests against Keita, had not been invited to participate in Saturday’s meeting.
The protest coalition has demanded the military rulers give it a role in the transition to civilian rule.
The coup leaders declared they now governed Mali, saying they acted because the country was sinking into chaos, blaming poor leadership.
The coup shocked Mali’s West African neighbours and ally France, heightening worries over instability in a country already struggling to contain the threat of armed groups, ethnic violence, and economic woes.
The 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc suspended Mali from its institutions, shut borders. It halted financial flows with the country following Keita’s overthrow.
On Friday, it told the military officers they must transfer power to a civilian-led transitional government immediately and hold elections within a year. In exchange, ECOWAS committed to lifting sanctions gradually as the coup leaders complied with its demands. Read here