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Mali coup leaders agree to stand down in return for amnesty

Bamako, Sat, 07 Apr 2012 ANI

Bamako (Mali), Apr 7 (ANI): Mali coup leaders have reportedly signed a deal with regional bloc Ecowas in which they would stand down and allow a transition to civilian rule.

In return, the bloc will lift trade and economic sanctions and grant amnesty to the ruling junta, mediators have said.

Under the terms of transition plan, military rulers will cede power to Parliamentary Speaker Diouncounda Traore, who as interim president will oversee a timetable for elections.

The deal has been signed by coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo, and states that Ecowas prepare for the ending of sanctions, The BBC reports.

The deal, however, did not name a date for Captain Sanogo to hand over power.

"It will be necessary to organise a political transition leading to free, democratic and transparent elections across the whole of the territory," the deal states.

The move came after Tuareg rebels in the north declared independence of territory they call Azawad.

The rebels seized the area after a coup two weeks ago plunged Mali into political crisis. (ANI)

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