Mali’s junta moves to return the country to civilian rule

The Military Junta in Mali headed by the transitional president, Colonel Assimi Goita has launched a four-day forum themed the “National Conference on Reform” with an aim to work towards a return of the country to civilian rule.

Colonel Goita said during the forum that, “we will make an unflinching assessment of the state of the nation [and] draw the best lessons from it,” adding that. it will also be your task to make concrete proposals, to devise a solution for ending the crisis.”

Following the ousting of the country’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the Malian junta has delayed the holding of elections even though Colonel Assimi Goita said “the return to constitutional order is and will remain my absolute priority.”

The delay attracted sanctions from West Africa’s regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Mali’s membership was suspended following the coup with financial and travel bans equally slapped on major coup leaders and their relatives.

In a recent communique, the ECOWAS President, Jean-Claude Brou said “the heads of state… decided to keep the (deadline) of February 27, 2022 for elections in Mali.”

It is not clear whether the newly introduced forum by the transitional leadership is aimed towards meeting the set date given by the ECOWAS.

Meanwhile, in an earlier letter sent to the ECOWAS chair, Colonel Assimi Goita said “Mali… commits to providing you with a detailed timetable by January 31, 2022 at the latest that could be discussed during an ECOWAS mission.”

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