In the wake of last week’s coup in Mali, the military has proposed a three-year transitional period, to be overseen by a government ‘predominantly composed of soldiers’.

This has been reported by an unnamed source in the delegation despatched by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

‘The junta has affirmed that it wants a three-year transition to review the foundations of the Malian state. This transition will be directed by a body led by a soldier, who will also be head of state,’ the source was quoted as saying.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was deposed in the coup, would be freed.

The ECOWAS delegation, headed by former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, arrived in Mali at the weekend. The coup was widely condemned internationally, and the ECOWAS visit was intended to ‘ensure the immediate return of constitutional order’.

However, it was welcomed by some within Mali. Months of protest against Keita preceded the coup, which was followed by a large gathering in the capital, Bamako, last Friday. The organisers billed it as a celebration of the ‘victory of the Malian people’.

President Keita had become a lightning rod for discontent in a country struggling against an Islamist insurgency, which has destabilised much of it.

The coup was Mali’s second over the past decade, with another having taken place in 2012.

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