Mali military juntaMali’s military junta has announced a new constitution barring their officers from running for public office. The move is seen as an effort to allay fears that the coup leaders will try to cling to power.
Malian military leaders, who stormed the presidential palace and took power by force six days ago, announced the new constitution on Mali state television on Tuesday.
Readingfrom a statement, a soldier said no members of the junta, known as the National Committee for the Recovery of Democracy and the Restoration of the State (CNRDRE), would be eligible to run for office.
The new constitution would guarantee the rule of law and basic human rights in a “pluralist democracy,” he said. The rebels had suspended Mali’s constitution when they seized power on March 22.
The junta also lifted a night-time curfew and reopened the country’s borders for the first time since ousting the government of President Amadou Toumani Toure.
Regime rejected by the world
US President Barack Obama on Tuesday reiterated that there was still a chance for Mali’s junta to reverse the situation.
“It’s not too late to undo this, to allow the country to return to civilian rule,” Obama’s spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara arrives for a meeting of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Nigeria's capital Abuja.

Ivorian President Alassane Outarra is current ECOWAS leader
West African leaders meeting on Tuesday in the Ivory Coast suspended Mali from the regional bloc of the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS).
The leaders also warned that the region’s troops were on standby.
“If the (junta leaders) do not respect this decision, the bloc will take all measures to put an end to the rebellion and preserve Mali’s territorial integrity, including by the use of force,” they said in a statement.
The group of leaders said they would send an ECOWAS delegation of six heads of state to Mali by Thursday and named Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaore as mediator in the crisis. The presidential delegation would be preceded by a visit of six chiefs of defense staff from the bloc on Wednesday.
The European Union, the United States, Canada and other Western countries have already announced that they will block hundreds of millions of dollars in government aid to Mali. Donors say they will continue with emergency food and medical aid.
A call for elections
In Mali, an anti-junta coalition urged coup leaders to organize “regular, credible and transparent elections.” The coup occurred just weeks before Mali was scheduled to hold presidential elections on April 29.
Meanwhile, life in Mali’s capital Bamako seemed to be slowly returning to normal, as citizens heeded an order by their new rulers to return to work. DW’s correspondent in Bamako, Christine Harjes, confirmed on Tuesday that shops had reopened and markets were offering fresh produce.
A market vendor told DW that the coup hadn’t made a great deal of difference to her business.
“The customers do their best to come,” she said. “They don’t always manage it but they try.”
A photo of a desert Tuareg man in front of a herd of camels

The Tuareg fear increasing discrimination after the coup
In the north of Mali, however, the United Nations on Wednesday warned the country was facing its biggest humanitarian crisis in 20 years.
Some 3 million people face food shortages in the region and tens of thousands have been displaced due to a combination of drought and violence from northern Tuareg separatists.
It was the Tuareg rebellion that sparked the coup by soldiers, who say they have been ill-equipped to fight off the desert nomads.


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