Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the coup plotters in Mali have struck a deal to return the West African nation to constitutional rule, PANA learnt here.
Under the deal, coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo will hand over power to the Speaker of the Mali National Assembly, Dioncounda Traoré, who will become interim president.
PANA learnt that ECOWAS negotiators and the military junta, which seized power 22 March, reached the deal during talks in Bamako, the Mali capital.
A group of low-ranking soldiers, lead by Captain Sanogo, ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure on 22 March, weeks before he was due to step down after an election, citing his mishandling of the Tuareg rebellion in north as a primary reason for launching the coup.
Meanwhile, the Tuareg rebels backed by Islamist fighters, have captured northern Mali and declared an independent state of Azawad on Friday.
They have declared the city of Gao as the capital of their new country.
-0- PANA VAO 7April2012