Mali officials are preparing to return the country back to civilian rule. This is according to the Economic Community of West African States which believes that the civilians will receive power from the post-coup interim administration within the next 18 months.
Goodluck Jonathan; Nigeria’s former president recently arrived in Bamako to hold talks with civil-society figures and political leaders. Jonathan is the mediator of ECOWAS. His visit has come at a time when many people are questioning the ability of the post-coup government to stage elections and reform the constitution within roughly a year. He expressed his confidence that that the transitional government will conclude its mandate within the required time fame.
The situation in Mali led to the intervention of some US special forces, thousands of French forces, the UN peacekeepers and regional armies.
On August 18, president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was ousted by army officials who grew frustrated over his failure to stop corruption in government and his inability to produce a solution through eight years of conflict. These frustrations had resulted in weeks of protests by frustrated citizens.
Mali then received sanctions from ECOWAS. These sanctions hurt the economy of the poor country which is home to approximately 19 million people. In October, ECOWAS lifted these sanctions after the military passed over power to a caretaker government that is led by civilians. This caretaker government is meant to be run government for 18 months before organizing democratic elections.
However, it is a little worrying that some leaders with influence over the coalition still have links with the army. For instance, Bah Ndaw is serving as the interim president but he is also a retired army officer and on the other hand, the interim vice president is Assimi Goita was the coup leader.
Ndaw nonetheless pledged on December 31 to return Mali to civilian rule on schedule.
According to a report published by ECOWAS, former president Jonathan is expected to meet with Goita and Ndaw during his visit to Mali.