The West African regional bloc ECOWAS has expressed regret over Mali‘s decision to limit the transition to civilian rule to two years while negotiations are ongoing.
“ECOWAS regrets that while negotiations are still ongoing to reach a consensus, the Malian Authorities took this decision on the transition,” it said in a statement.
It went on to say that its mediator will continue talks with Malian authorities “in order to reach a mutually acceptable transitional agreement that will ensure ECOWAS’ support.”
Colonel Assimi Gota, the leader of Mali’s junta, signed a decree on Monday extending the transition period to 24 months, beginning in March of this year.
The army took power in 2020 and has faced international pressure to hold elections sooner.
ECOWAS imposed harsh sanctions on Mali after the junta failed to hold elections by the agreed-upon deadline in February this year.
An ECOWAS meeting over the weekend decided to keep the measures in place but to meet again next month to review progress.
Colonel Assimi Goita, the interim President of Mali, over the weekend signed a decree establishing the length of the transition period to two years.
The Army took power in 2020 and has faced international pressure to hold elections sooner.
Mali is battling crippling sanctions imposed after it failed to hold a planned election in February.
The West African regional grouping, Ecowas, decided to keep the measures in place over the weekend. It will revisit the situation at its next extraordinary summit next month.
The EU had asked Mali to reconsider its two-year transition period, believing that 12 or 18 months would suffice.
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