Amidst pressure from the international community for a return to civil rule, Mali’s military junta has launched a three-day “national consultation” with political parties, unions and NGOs on the framework of a potential return of democracy.
The consultative meeting which was held on Thursday at Mali’s capital city of Bamako had no fewer than 500 participants in attendance.
The talks mark the second round of discussions between the junta who overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on the 18th of August and civilian representatives, many of whom had campaigned fiercely for him to resign.
The meeting focused on how the junta intends to restore civilian governance and stage elections within a “reasonable time.” Jubilation among many Malians over Keita’s exit has been replaced by concerns about the speed of the handover and the military’s role in the transition period.
The junta initially demanded a three-year transitional period to be overseen by a soldier.
However, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) rejected the proposal, insisting that the handover must not be beyond a year.
The bloc also closed borders and banned trade with Mali ECOWAS also demanded that a civilian transition president and premier “be appointed no later than September 15”.
Subsequently, a committee of around 20 lawyers, researchers and academics has drawn up a draft “road map” resulting from a first round of talks on Saturday. This document will be put to the forum “for amendment, improvement and enrichment.