Mali’s Junta snubs ECOWAS, extends transitional period to five years

Recall that, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) earlier instructed Mali’s transitional leadership to organize elections by the 27th of February 2022. The regional bloc also directed the junta to make commitment by January 2022 or face further sanctions for violations.

The junta organized a four-day forum themed the “National Conference on Reform” which they earlier said was meant to make “unflinching assessment of the state of the nation and draw the best lessons from it.”

Conclusions from the said forum however proved contrary to the demands of ECOWAS as the participants ended up extending the mandate of the junta to five years.

Documents from the forum said “the participants were in favor of extending the transition period in order to carry out the institutional reforms that will allow for credible, fair and transparent elections. The deadlines put forward vary from six months to five years.”

The resulting document further indicated that, the participants agreed to develop “new military partnerships with military powers” and also disband all militias and integrate them into the Malian army.

Delays in the return to constitutional rule by Colonel Assimi Goita and his team attracted earlier sanctions from the ECOWAS. The country’s membership was suspended following the coup with financial and travel bans equally slapped on major coup leaders and their relatives.

According to the earlier directive from ECOWAS, violations of the set February 2022 date will attract further sanctions. The regional body is yet to comment and announce the new sanctions.

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