The AU's Support Group for Mali, which held its first meeting in Abidjan on Thursday, called for the ``immediate dissolution’’ of Mali's junta.
The junta is also known as the National Committee for the Redressment of Democracy and Restoration of the State (CNRDRE).
``The participants at the meeting demanded that the junta be dissolved immediately and that the military completely withdraws from handling the transition,’’ the group's final communique said.
The participants demanded that the Malian armed forces ``under the authority of the interim president,’’ concentrates on their task of defending Mali's national unity and territorial integrity.
The group insisted on the need to create conducive conditions to enable the transition institutions to carry out their responsibilities without interference from the military junta.
It firmly condemned the unacceptable attack against the interim president, Dioncounda Traore, who is now recovering in Paris, demanding ``a rapid’’ identification of all those who were involved in the attack so that they can be charged in a court of law.
The group said it was ``determined’’ to take punitive measures against the military officers or civilians attempting to derail the transition or interfere with government actions.
The Support Group decided that it would meet at least once every two months under the auspices of ECOWAS, the AU and the UN.
The CNRDRE seized power on March 22, triggering a crisis in which separatist Tuareg rebels carved up the country's north and declared an independent Azawad state.
Although ECOWAS negotiated a transition agreement with the junta, the transitional government faces regular security threats.
Supporters of the junta demanded the CNRDRE leader head the one-year transition and injured Traore in late May.
The meeting was presided over by AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping with the participation of the member countries of ECOWAS other AU member states, the AU presidency and development partners.