West Africa may lift Mali sanctions soon

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REUTERS

File picture: Malian soldiers stand in guard in Kati, outside Bamako.

Bamako - Mali's military rulers have the right attitude to create the conditions which could see stiff regional sanctions lifted soon, a mediator told state television on Thursday.

“We are working together to create the conditions for the lifting of these sanctions and I think it will be very soon,” Burkina Faso's Foreign Minister Djibrill Bassole said after a meeting with coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo.

“We will do everything we can so that these sanctions are not only suspended, but completely lifted and abandoned. We are on the road.

“I can assure you that the captain has the right attitude and will soon have an announcement to make that goes in the right direction. I prefer leaving it up to him to announce it,” added Bassole, envoy of his president Blaise Compaore.

The junta did not wish to comment.

A group of low-ranking officers ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure on March 22 over his government's failure to address a northern rebellion, but the coup only hastened a rapid advance by Tuareg separatists and Islamists.

The junta has been in talks with regional officials in recent days in a scramble to find a way out of what some have dubbed an “accidental coup” which has prompted a complete freeze-out by foreign allies and neighbours.

Sanctions imposed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) mean neighbours have closed their borders to the landlocked country, cutting off fuel imports, and the junta's access to Mali's bank account has been frozen. - Sapa-AFP


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