Mali junta postpones presidential election

The presidential election planned for February in the military-ruled West African state of Mali has to be postponed “for technical reasons”, the transitional government announced on Monday.

The junta cited the updating of the electoral roll and problems with a census database following a dispute with the operating company as reasons.

A new election date is to be announced at a later date, it said.

The military seized power in Mali more than two years ago and the timetable for the transition has been delayed before.

A constitutional referendum planned for February 2023 was not held until June, and local elections planned for June have still not taken place.

The security situation is very bad in the north and centre of Mali.

Islamists close to the terrorist militias Islamic State and al-Qaeda control large areas of the country on the edge of the Sahara.

At the request of the military junta of Colonel Assimi Goïta, the UN stabilisation mission with around 12,000 peacekeepers would withdraw by the end of the year.

The Malian army has turned away from former European partners such as the ex-colonial power France and is fighting the terrorists with the help of Russian mercenaries.

Neighbours Burkina Faso and Niger, also terrorized by Islamists in the common border region, are also ruled by the military after coups.

The latest coup in Niger in July triggered international anger and a regional crisis.

France announced on Sunday that it would withdraw its soldiers from Niger by the end of the year. (dpa/NAN)

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