AU renews call for Mali junta to step down
5/6/2012 9:20:02 PM -
COTONOU (AFP) - Benin President Thomas Boni Yayi, who is the current chairman of the African Union, on Sunday repeated a call for Mali's military junta that seized power in a March coup to return to their barracks.
"The junta must imperatively return to their barracks," Boni Yayi said during a meeting of African constitutional council chiefs.
"We must avoid a three-headed monster in Mali," said the president, urging leaders attending the meeting to obey constitutional law in their own countries.
"For us, the President of Mali is the one recognised by the constitution," Boni Yayi said.
Mali coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo agreed last month to a deal brokered by west African bloc ECOWAS that led to a new transitional government.
Although he has formally quit power, Sanogo remains an influential political force and has refused ECOWAS demands for elections within 12 months.
He has also rejected plans to send foreign troops into northern Mali, captured by a loose coalition of Tuareg and Islamist rebels after the coup.
Tensions in Mali flared again last week as paratroopers who had remained loyal to the ousted Malian president Amadou Toumani Toure attempted a counter-coup, but were repulsed in clashes that killed dozens.