Mali's ruling junta said Monday that the transition back to democratic rule will take place on March, 2024.
"The duration of the transition is set at 24 months," interim government spokesman Abdoulaye Maiga said on national television.
Maiga said both the Economic Community of West African States' (ECOWAS) mediator, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, as well as regional heads-of-state have been informed of the 24 month interval.
The country’s military rulers had promised earlier to hold elections in February 2022 but later proposed a five-year election timeline, incurring sanctions from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Maiga said "We are hopeful... the sanctions will be lifted imminently," he said, adding that an electoral timeline would follow.
Maiga said the delay in democratic transition followed an "advanced stage of negotiations with ECOWAS".
West African heads of state met in the Ghanian capital Accra over the weekend to discuss the situation. They agreed not to lift sanctions crippling the economy unless interim leaders proposed a shorter transition.
Mali has been hit hard by those ECOWAS sanctions for dragging out the civilian return. The delay also sparked a rift with France, which pulled troops out of the Sahel nation.
Mali witnesses two military coups since August 2020 when generals ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita