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West African Bloc Fails to Mediate in Mali

West African mediators failed to persuade leaders of a military coup in Mali to immediately hand over power to a civilian government during talks on Tuesday, the chairman of the regional bloc said.

Leaders of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met the heads of a junta that on Aug. 18 overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, in the bloc’s latest attempt to quicken the transition from military leadership.

ECOWAS imposed economic sanctions after the coup, and said a new president should be appointed by Tuesday. Those actions, and multiple diplomatic interventions, appear to have had little effect so far, reinforcing the difficulty regional powers face in shaping events inside the turbulent country.

“We have not reached any agreement with the military junta,” said Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo, the acting ECOWAS chair, after the talks. He said that a mediating mission would return to Mali next week to try to resolve outstanding issues.

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