Mali’s military junta will take 24 months from March 2022 to restore civilian rule after the August 2020 coup, its spokesman said on Monday, the latest in talks with regional bloc ECOWAS to lift sanctions that crippled the economy. Step.
The West African country’s military leaders have been under pressure to restore democracy as they toppled the government and failed on a promise to hold elections in February, leading to sanctions from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
“The transition period has been set at 24 months,” Abdoulaye Maiga, spokesman for the transitional government, said on national television with a start date of March 26, 2022.
Maiga said the decree followed an “advanced stage of negotiations with ECOWAS” and that Mali hoped the sanctions would be lifted.
“The adoption of this decree is a testament to the willingness of the (Malian) authorities to negotiate with ECOWAS,” he said.
Mali’s hardline leaders and regional heads of state have been at odds over a proposed five-year election timeline, which was later revised to two – a delay previously rejected by ECOWAS for too long. read full story
The ECOWAS Block did not immediately comment on the 24-month decree adopted on Monday.
The length of the transition has also caused rifts with Mali’s allies, including the United States and the former colonial power, France.
Maiga said the ECOWAS mediator on the crisis, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and heads of state were informed of the 24-month decree.
“We are hopeful… the restrictions will be lifted soon,” he said. He said that the election deadline will be followed.
West African heads of state met in the Ghanaian capital Accra over the weekend to discuss the situation and agreed not to lift restrictions, including border closures and restrictions on financial transactions, until interim leaders have made a short transition. not offered.
The leaders are expected to convene another summit before July 3.
Military governments in neighboring Burkina Faso and Guinea are also facing similar threats from ECOWAS for dragging their feet on democratic change.