The Economic of West African States (ECOWAS) has ordered the military junta in Mali to hold elections in 12 months and return the country to democracy.
News Central recalls that the military, led by Colonel Assimi Goita, had overthrown President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in a bloodless coup last week.
The action had triggered a wave of sanctions against the country, with ECOWAS suspending Mali from the 15-nation regional group.
However, on Friday, in a virtual summit, the ECOWAS called for the “troops to return to their barracks” and for an election to be held in 12 months, adding that the transition should be overseen by a civilian.
But the military junta – known as the National Committee for the People’s Salvation – has talked about a transition lasting up to three years.
The soldiers have released President Keïta, which was one of Ecowas’ demands when envoys met with the military rebels earlier this week.
It had imposed sanctions on Mali after the coup, including closing borders, suspending its membership and disrupting trade.
During Friday’s summit, the heads of state said they would gradually lift those sanctions as the country returned to civilian rule.
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