Former Nigerian president and ECOWAS mediator, Goodluck Jonathan, met on Wednesday with members of the military junta that has ruled Mali since toppling its elected president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, in August 2020.
The meeting took place as the bloc meets on Sunday to discuss the return to civilian rule.
“There were (at the conference) at least 85,000 representatives of the people, from the communes to the national level. It is therefore the voice of the people, through these conclusions, that we have decided to make known not only at the national level but also at the international level. This is all the more important as Mali has decided through this refounding to find a definitive Malian vision, by Malians, for Mali”, announced Zeïni Moulaye Haïdara, President of the panel of high-level personalities for the National Conferences.
The meeting took place as the military junta is outlining plans for a return to constitutional order.
Initially, the junta announced that they would be holding elections by the end of February 2022. These however have been postponed.
Abdoulaye Diop, Minister of Foreign Affairs added “the timetable that has been submitted is a basis for discussion and Mali remains open to dialogue. It is in this spirit that ECOWAS has sent its mediator for discussions with the highest authorities in Mali”.
At a summit on December 12th, ECOWAS leaders reiterated demands that the elections be held by February 27th as initially planned.
The bloc maintained sanctions such as asset freezes and travel bans within the ECOWAS region against around 150 junta members and their families.