The West African regional bloc ECOWAS says it regrets Mali’s decision to extend the length of the transition to a democratic government to two years. Negotiations between the two sides are still ongoing.
“ECOWAS regrets that while negotiations are still ongoing to reach a consensus, the Malian Authorities took this decision on the transition,”
ECOWAS imposed stiff sanctions on Mali after the junta failed to conduct elections in February this year according to the decision that was initially planned by junta.
The 15-member of ECOWAS has been pushing for a shorter extension of at most 16 months.
Mali’s junta leader, Colonel Assimi Goïta, signed a decree on Monday fixing the length of the transition period to 24 months starting from March this year.
The ruling military group initially seized power in 2020 and has been under international pressure to hold elections sooner.
Heads of state from ECOWAS held a summit over the weekend and decided to keep the measures in place. The members are due to meet by next month to review the progress and whether the junta will propose a shorter transition. The next summit is expected to happen before July 3rd.
ECOWAS says that one of its negotiators would continue talks with the Malian authorities “with a view of reaching a mutually acceptable transitional agreement that will ensure Ecowas’ support”.