Mali: Military Promises Return To Civilian Rule In March 2024

Photo: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • Mali's interim Pres. Col. Assimi Goïta announced on Mon. a decree that extends the political transition in the West African nation toward democratic and civilian rule for two years, starting from Mar. 26, 2022.

  • This comes as partners, such as France, the US, and the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), imposed sanctions on Bamako after it broke a promise to hold elections in February.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

The ECOWAS policy of punishing Mali to counter military leaders has failed to prevent coups in other countries and to make a democratic push in Mali. The regional bloc should've taken stronger action to protect Mali's democratic institutions when they were still operating.

Pro-establishment narrative

Sanctions imposed by the ECOWAS on Mali are the only way to bind the military junta to a civilian rule and ensure a return in a tolerable time. It shows as well that the ECOWAS won't accept coups d'état in any of its member countries.

Cynical narrative

It's ironic to note that the ECOWAS is acting as if it was a democracy caretaker but it did nothing to block undemocratic amendments in the constitutions of Guinea and of Côte d'Ivoire in the past. As the Russia-backed Wagner Group expands its footprint in Africa, it seems that the ECOWAS is being driven by a geopolitical game between Paris and Moscow.

Establishment split



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