Mali: coup leader Amadou Haya Sanogo says National Assembly president to be new head of state

Mali residents line up to buy gasoline on April 3, 2012 in Bamako. The troubled nation's military rulers faced fuel and money shortages from sanctions.

Mali’s new military junta has announced that the president of the African nation’s national assembly will be its next head of state, according to The Associated Press.

The announcement came hours after Tuareg rebels announced that a northern zone under their control was now an independent state called Azawad.

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Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo, the leader of last month’s coup which overthrew President Amadou Toumani Touré, made the comments at his office to AP journalists and officials from neighboring countries, the news agency said.

The US, France and EU along with the Economic Community of West African States, or Ecowas, have all imposed punitive sanctions intended to coerce the return of the democratically elected government.

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The BBC reported today that the African Union, the EU and the US have all likewise rejected the Tuareg declaration of independence.