Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure, who was ousted by a military coup last month, has resigned. As part of a peace deal struck last week, interim leader Dioncounda Traore will now oversee Mali's return to democracy.
Mali's President Amadou Toumani Toure has handed in has handed in his letter of resignation, Burkina Faso's foreign minister said on Sunday after meeting the deposed leader.
"We will now contact the competent authorities so that the vacancy of the presidency would be established and so that they take the appropriate measures," said Djibril Bassole, also a leading mediator for the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The resignation paves the way for the departure of the soldiers who ousted the president in a coup on March 22. As part of a peace deal struck last week the military junta agreed to stand aside once Toure had formally left office.
The speaker of parliament, Dioncounda Traore, is to become interim president and will be tasked with organizing democratic elections. He must also contend with a separatist rebellion in the country's north where Tuareg fighters and Islamist extremists have taken control.
Earlier on Sunday, West African leaders lifted week-old sanctions against Mali as a rsult of the agreement to restore civilian rule.
ECOWAS had imposed sanctions on the West African nation on Monday, closing borders to the country and freezing access to its account at the regional bank.
ccp/pfd (AFP, Reuters)