Mali Military Pledges A Two-year Transition To Civilian Rule

Colonel Assimi Goita
Colonel Assimi Goita, the leader of Mali's military coup

Following an August 2020 coup and a failure to reach an earlier timetable for elections that resulted in economic sanctions, Mali military authorities have proposed restoring civilian power in two years.

Colonel Assimi Goita, the military leader, signed an order on Monday that stated, “The duration of the transition is fixed at 24 months (from) March 26, 2022.”

After the military took control in a first coup in August 2020 and failed to organize elections in February, the Economic Community of West African States imposed sanctions (ECOWAS). In May of last year, Goita deposed an interim civilian administration and took over the presidency.

According to the military, the directive followed an “advanced stage of negotiations with ECOWAS,” and Mali believed the sanctions would be withdrawn.

“The adoption of this decree is proof of the willingness of [Malian] authorities to dialogue with ECOWAS,” said a spokesperson who read out the decree.

Advertisement ~ Scroll to continue

The ECOWAS Authorities did not respond to a request for comment on the 24-month ruling issued on Monday.

The duration of the transition has strained relations with Mali’s allies, especially the US and former colonial power France.

The 24-month directive has been communicated to the ECOWAS mediator on the situation, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, as well as chiefs of state, according to Maiga.

“We are hopeful … the sanctions will be lifted imminently ,” he said, adding that an election schedule will follow.

Over the weekend, West African heads of state met in Accra, Ghana’s capital, to address the issue. They decided not to relax sanctions, which include border closures and financial transaction restrictions, unless interim leaders proposed a faster transition.

Before July 3rd, the leaders are anticipated to meet again.

ECOWAS has threatened the military regimes of Burkina Faso and Guinea for delaying democratic transitions.