By Enyichukwu Enemanna
The United States on Thursday reacted the extension of military rule in Mali, insisting that time has come for the transition government to take steps toward holding elections to restore democracy.
The West African country’s military leaders toppled the government and failed to keep a promise to hold elections in February.
This has since attracted sanction from the foremost regional body, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
France, former Malian colonial power has also frowned at the length of transition. The latest reaction from the US is believed to add more pressure on the need to restore civil rule in Mali.
“We urge the Malian transition government to make sustained, tangible action toward holding elections, including detailed benchmarks and the early adoption of the electoral law,” a U.S. State Department spokesperson on Thursday.
On Monday, a spokesman for Mali’s military junta said it would take 24 months from March 2022 to restore civilian rule after an August 2020 coup. read more
Mali’s putsch leaders and regional heads of state have been at odds over a proposed five-year election timeline that was then revised to two – a delay that was previously rejected as too long by ECOWAS.
The West African regional bloc ECOWAS said on Tuesday that it regretted the decision by Mali’s interim government to extend the transition back to civilian rule by 24 months while negotiations between the two sides were ongoing
The 2021 Malian coup d’état which began on the night of 24 May 2021 was led by Vice President Assimi Goïta who captured President Bah N’daw, Prime Minister Moctar Ouane and Minister of Defence Souleymane Doucouré.
The military has since then been in charge of State powers.