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Visiting Mali, the UN delegation met Sunday with officials of the ruling junta who defended the organization of “national meetings” prior to the elections. But for the delegation, “the end of the transition should not be delayed for any length of time.”
The UN Security Council delegation visiting Mali met on Sunday (October 24th) the leaders of the ruling junta, who repeated that they wanted to organize “national meetings” before fixing the date of the elections, said a UN official.
The Malian transitional authorities openly show their willingness to postpone the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for February 27, which the Community of West African States (ECOWAS) demands to be held on the date set.
The UN Security Council also wants electoral deadlines to be respected and a return to civilian power, after the two putschs of August 2020 and May 2021, against a backdrop of jihadist and community violence.
The UN delegation, which arrived in Bamako on Saturday, and co-led by Niger’s ambassador to the United Nations, Abdou Abarry, and his French counterpart Nicolas de Rivière, notably includes the American ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
Its members met on Sunday the transitional president, Colonel Assimi Goïta, then Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maïga, after talks during the day with representatives of civil society and armed groups signatories of the Algiers peace agreement. from 2015.
“National meetings” planned for the end of December, according to the junta
“The Malian authorities that we met spoke to us about the National Assizes of the refoundation as a kind of preliminary to the elections. The chronogram indicates that these meetings could end around December and it is at the end of this process that a timetable will be established and submitted to Malians as well as to the international community, “Abdou Abarry said at a press conference.
The junta announced on Saturday that these “National Refoundation Assizes” would be held from December 21 to 26.
“If we can not object to the reforms, we should not delay in a prolonged way the end of the transition and the possibility for Malians to democratically choose the people who will take charge of their destiny. country “, underlined Abdou Abarry.
Colonel Goïta, “told us that the transition is not here to last and that the Malians will go to the elections as soon as the conditions are met”.
The delegation will “insist on respecting the electoral deadlines”
Prime Minister Maïga declared, during the meeting with the UN delegation to the press, that for his government, “security naturally occupies the highest order of priorities”.
“How to campaign in regions affected by insecurity, ensure the full participation of citizens without the precondition of security. Political and courageous and informed choices are underway, whether it is about authority (management elections) or national refoundation meetings at the end of which Malians will renew their vision of the state, ”he continued.
The UN delegation must report on its mission to the Security Council. The ambassadors of the Security Council will “in the region support regional organizations such as ECOWAS, insist on respecting electoral deadlines and, if this is not possible, at least have a realistic timetable”, explained to AFP a diplomat at the UN before the visit.
After Mali, the Security Council delegation visited neighboring Niger on Sunday.