President resigns


President Amadou Toumani Touré has resigned to pave the way for the restoration of a civilian government once more.

The president had been forced into hiding following a coup on 21st March when a group of junior soldiers had taken over.

In the intervening period Toureg rebels have taken control of much of northern Mali and on 4th April declared a new state in the Azawad region. The rebels themselves are believed to be divided and have not been recognised by the international community.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) demanded that the soldiers immediately return the control of the country to civilian rule and when they failed to do so it introduced economic sanctions. ECOWAS mediators then entered into negotiations with the soldiers and on Saturday the soldiers signed an agreement to hand back rule to the civilians on condition that the president stand down.

The President of the National Assembly, Dioncounda Traoré will become the new interim president until fresh elections can be organised.

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