The international community increased pressure on the military junta that has seized power in Mali, as the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) suspended the nation from its membership Tuesday.

Its leadership agreed the move at an extraordinary session held via videoconference, while adding that it would maintain any cooperation that would help the civilian population and a transition to democracy.

The decision came a day after envoys from the West African bloc ECOWAS and the new military rulers said they had failed to agree on a timetable to return Mali to democratic rule.

The OIF also called for the liberation of the ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who stepped down from power last week after the military revolt, saying he wanted to avoid bloodshed.

And they called for the establishment, as soon as possible, of “a transition government led by an civilian authority”. The OIF said it would be sending a high-delegation to Mali in the coming days.

The international community has already condemned the August 18 coup and ECOWAS has suspended Mali from its ranks.

ECOWAS has so far taken the lead in the international community in trying to negotiate a timetable for a return to civilian rule with the country’s new military leaders.

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