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West African bloc does not reach agreement with Mali military News

West African mediators have failed to persuade leaders of a military coup in Mali to immediately hand over power to a civilian government.

On Tuesday, leaders of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met the leaders of a military government that overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on August 18 in the bloc’s latest attempt to speed up the transition from military leadership.

ECOWAS imposed financial sanctions after the coup and said a new president should be appointed by Tuesday.

But these actions and several diplomatic interventions seem to have had little effect, exacerbating the difficulties that regional powers face in shaping events in the turbulent country.

“We have not reached any agreement with the military junta,”

; Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo, acting president of ECOWAS, said after the talks.

He said a mediation mission would return to Mali next week to try to resolve outstanding issues.

“We need a civilian leadership of the transition, and we have also made it clear that the moment leadership leadership is in place … the sanctions … would be lifted,” he said.

Regional leaders fear the coup could set a dangerous precedent in West Africa and undermine a fight in Mali and neighboring countries in the Sahel region against armed fighters with links to al Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS).

On Saturday, the military governors pushed through a charter that said the interim president could be a soldier or a civilian and has not yet indicated when the new government will be named.

West African leaders have not said what the consequences will be for not meeting the deadline. The sanctions include border closures and the suspension of financial flows, although these were eased so that they did not affect civilians.

Akufo-Addo said leaders said they would be willing to let a transitional government stand for 18 months, longer than the original year it asked for.

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