Mali Rebels Release New Constitution

Junta leaders say their new plan for Mali will restore rule of law.

Posted: 03/28/2012 03:45 PM EDT

A week after Mali’s rebels seized power in a coup, its junta leaders unveiled a new constitution for the West African nation, and ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure came forward, stating he is free and remains in the country.


In an address broadcast on state television, an army lieutenant read 69 articles of the revised constitution the group claims will restore rule of law to the country.


The revised provisions call for the creation of a transitional committee composed of 26 members of the security forces and 15 civilians who will take power until elections. Coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo will appoint these members, they said.


In addition to the rebels announcement, former elected leader President Amadou Toumani Toure also surfaced after nearly a week of speculation about his whereabouts following the coup.


Toure spoke to journalists Wednesday, putting rumors about exile and abuse to rest.


"I am free and in my country," Toure told French radio station RFI. "The most important thing for me is not my own position. What is important is democracy, institutions, and Mali."


The coup has been condemned by much of the international community, including regional bloc ECOWAS, who has suspended Mali’s membership and has planned talks with coup leaders in efforts to persuade them to agree to a transitional government of their choosing.


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(Photo: HABIBOU KOUYATE/AFP/Getty Images)