Following discussion being held by regional bloc the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS on the roadmap to restoring Mali back to democratic rule, the Military Junta has effected some last-minute changes to the roadmap in this regard after the initially planned transition which will last for five years was rejected.
Chair of the Economic Community of West African States, President Nana Akufo-Addo, revealed that the military leadership is proposing a four-year transition period to hand over power to a civilian government.
“The official proposal, submitted to me by the transitional authorities under the hand of its head, indicated that the transition period should run for 5 years. Subsequently, by a letter to me dated January 7, 2022, the head of the Malian transition team stated that the period had now been modified to four years,” President Akufo-Addo said at a gathering of West African leaders on Sunday to discuss Mali’s crisis.
Also, the ECOWAS extraordinary summit was expected to discuss possible sanctions on Mali over potentially delayed elections.
This meeting is being organized following months of aggravated tensions over the timetable for restoring civilian rule in Mali after two coups, and a military takeover in 2020.
Army officers led by Colonel Assimi Goita overthrew the elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August 2020.
This was followed by a promise by Colonel Goita to restore civilian rule in February 2022 after holding Presidential and Legislative elections.
But in May 2021, an interim civilian government was forced out, disrupting the reform timetable, which was later met with widespread diplomatic condemnation.
During the summit on December 12, ECOWAS leaders reiterated demands that the elections be held by February 27 as initially planned.
According to them, sanctions such as asset freezes and travel bans within the ECOWAS region against around 150 junta figures and their families would be placed and also threatened further economic and financial measures.
The possibility of fresh sanctions was expected to be on the agenda at Sunday’s summit.