The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has charged the transitional government in Mali to return the country to constitutional rule within 12 to 16 months.
This is a part of talks to restore democratic governance in the West-African country reeling under political instability.
Leaders of ECOWAS made the decision during an Extraordinary Summit in Accra on Friday, to review recent political developments in Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso.
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean Claude Kassi Brou, said in view of the global political and security situation, there is an urgent need to reach an agreement in order to avoid further deterioration of the situation in Mali.
“The discussions were extensively on the situation and taking into account that the sanctions are impacting on the country. There has been substantial work that was done by the Technical Local Committee Meeting and after examining the recommendations of the mediator, the Head of State disclosed that, they are willing to provide an extension of the transition in Mali for 12 to 16 months in addition to the three months that have already passed. So agreements will be reached so that the sanctions are gradually lifted.”
A military coup in Mali ousted former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita over what the coup makers described as economic hardship.
Mali eventually witnessed a series of protests which led to the removal of its President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on August 18, 2020, by a military junta.
The former President faced allegations of corruption and poor management of the economy.
ECOWAS leaders have been finding a lasting solution to the political crisis in Mali.
Mali’s Constitutional Court has named the leader of the country’s military coup, Colonel Assimi Goïta, as its transitional president.
Col Goïta had already declared himself interim president on Wednesday, two days after seizing power in Mali’s second coup in nine months.
He led the first coup last August, which saw the elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta forced out of office.
The court said Friday’s decision was due to the “vacancy in the presidency”.
He defended the removal of President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane as necessary because they had failed in their duties and were seeking to sabotage the country’s transition.
Soldiers arrested and detained the two men after a cabinet reshuffle that Col. Goïta said he was not consulted about.
Col. Goïta has now promised that a new prime minister would be appointed within days, and that election would still go ahead next year as planned.