President Amadou Toumani Toure formally resigned on Sunday as part of a deal with the coup leaders to bring stability back to Mali, according to the BBC.
From his hiding place, Toure said, “I am doing this without any pressure, and I am doing this in good faith, and I am doing it especially out of love for my country. I have decided to hand in my resignation letter,” according to the Associated Press.
Burkina Faso’s foreign minister, Djibril Bassole, who acted as an international mediator, confirmed that a letter of resignation had been submitted. The resignation will pave the way for the coup’s leaders to step aside and let the parliamentary speaker take over, according to the BBC.
Dioncounda Traore, the speaker of the parliament, spent two weeks in Burkina Faso, returning to Mali on Saturday, according to CNN. He is expected to lead a transitional government, though it remained unclear when he would take office.
A statement from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said it “decided to lift all the sanctions imposed on Mali with immediate effect,” after the coup leaders agreed to restoring constitutional rule, said CNN.
After three days of negotiating and mounting international pressure, Mali’s junta said on Friday that it would hand over power in return for amnesty from prosecution and the lifting of sanctions, according to the Guardian.
Before the coup, Mali had a democratic tradition stretching over two decades.
The military, which took over the country 17 days ago, said it did so because of Toure’s mishandling of the Tuareg rebellion in the country’s north, which was inflicting large causalities on the ill-equipped army, according to the AP.
The rebels took Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu and declared their independence on Friday, the same day that the junta agreed to the deal to hand over power.