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Mali junta adopts 24-month transition to democratic rule from March

MALI military junta will take 24 months from March 2022 to restore civilian rule after an August 2020 coup, its spokesman said on Monday, the latest move in negotiations with regional bloc ECOWAS to lift sanctions crippling the economy

The West African country’s military leaders have been under pressure to restore democracy since they toppled the government and failed on a promise to hold elections in February, prompting sanctions from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

‘The duration of the transition is set at 24 months,’ the transitional government spokesman Abdoulaye Maiga 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 Mali hoped sanctions would be lifted.

‘The adoption of this decree is proof of the willingness of (Malian) authorities to dialogue with ECOWAS,’ he added.

Mali’s leaders and regional heads of state have been at odds over a proposed five-year election timeline that was then revised to two – a delay that was previously rejected as too long by ECOWAS.

Maiga said both the ECOWAS mediator on the crisis, former Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan, and heads of state had been informed of the 24-month decree.

‘We are hopeful… the sanctions will be lifted imminently,’ he said, adding that an electoral timeline would follow.

Military governments in neighbouring Burkina Faso and Guinea are also facing similar threats from ECOWAS for dragging their feet on democratic transitions.

 

 

Source
Reuters

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