Mali’s coup leaders have called for a national meeting to discuss the country’s transition back to civilian rule, as they seek a way out of a growing crisis that has brought debilitating sanctions on the country and further fuelled a Tuareg rebellion in the north.

Coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo told journalists on Tuesday that a national convention would begin on Thursday.

“Yes to the return to a constitutional order, but with a new Mali. Our Mali is sick in the depths of her being … To this effect, we invite the entire political class and all the actors of society to come without exception to the national convention,” he said.

Sanogo, who announced plans last week to restore Mali’s constitution, had earlier pledged to call a convention to determine what sort of body should govern before new elections are held.

Sanogo also said that the country’s toppled president, Amadou Toumani Toure, could face trial, accused of “high treason and financial wrongdoing”.

The offer to hold open-ended talks on transition to civilian rule came as people rushed to stock up on petrol and cash after the 15-state ECOWAS West African bloc launched trade and diplomatic sanctions aimed at forcing the leaders of last month’s coup to stand down.  Read more…