Mali military promises return to civilian rule in March 2024
Mali’s military rulers have proposed the restoration of civilian rule in two years, following an August 2020 coup and a failure to meet an earlier deadline for elections that led to crippling sanctions.
Military leader Colonel Assimi Goita signed a decree read out on state television on Monday saying that the duration of the transition is fixed at 24 months (from) March 26, 2022.
The military seized power in an initial coup in August 2020 and failed to deliver on a promise to hold elections in February, prompting sanctions from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Goita forced out an interim civilian government in May last year, taking over the presidency.
ECOWAS did not immediately comment on the 24-month decree adopted on Monday.
The length of the transition has also caused a rift with Mali’s partners, including the United States and former colonial power France.
West African heads of state met in Ghana’s capital Accra over the weekend to discuss the situation and agreed not to lift sanctions, which include border closures and restrictions on financial transactions, unless interim leaders proposed a shorter transition.
The leaders are expected to convene for another summit before July 3, 2022.
Story by Tinyefuza Naboth.