Ousted Mali President Flies To UAE As ECOWAS Guarantees His Return On Demand

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Mali’s ex-President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, 75, has flown to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday for medical treatment after suffering a minor stroke, military officials said.

The junta is currently in talks with opposition and civil society groups about a transition to civilian rule.

It says it will step down in two years, but West African leaders want a quicker transfer of power.

Mali’s coup is cheered at home but upsets neighbours

Mr Keïta left for the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, after representatives of the regional body, the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), and the United Nations (UN) held talks with the coup leaders

Ecowas gave an undertaking to the junta that Mr Keïta would return if he is wanted for any crimes allegedly committed during his seven-year rule.

The coup leaders have promised to respect international agreements on fighting jihadists.

Meanwhile, more than 500 representatives of Malian opposition and civil society groups are holding talks with the junta in Bamako to discuss the transition to civilian rule.

“Since August 18, we are charting a new history for our country,” junta number two Malick Diaw told the opening session, AFP reported.

The talks are scheduled to continue until 12 September.

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