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Mali protesters want to run the government, split with junta imminent

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The protest coalition that campaigned against former Mali president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has demanded a major role in the 18-24 month transition programme to democracy.

On Saturday, the junta received representatives of the June 5 Movement at the Kati barracks near Bamako late Saturday, after announcing they would postpone a meeting with civic groups, political organisations and former rebels on the transfer of power due to “organisational reasons.

One of the leaders who attended the meeting told AFP that they demanded a role in the transition, in keeping with its role in spearheading Keita’s ouster.

They demanded that civilians should head a transitional presidency, government and assembly, one of the movement’s leaders, Choguel Maiga, told AFP.

They also called for “a committee to monitor and supervise the transition which will be composed of a majority of members of the junta and the (June 5 Movement),” he said.

The junta did not comment on the meeting.

The position of the coalition on the length of the transition programme contradicts ECOWAS leaders’ 12 month deadline.

That may not be only problem to be faced by the June 5 Movement and the junta it backed to oust President Boubacar Keita, as a split is already visible between them.

Mali’s influential imam Mahmoud Dicko, a key player in the mass opposition protests warned Friday that the military rulers did not have “carte blanche”.

Dicko’s spokesman Issa Kaou Djim later expanded on this, saying the imam “said the people have started to doubt” the junta.

Within hours of taking control on 18 August, the junta pledged to enact a political transition and stage elections within a “reasonable time”.

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