Mali will hold presidential and parliamentary elections in February next year, the country’s interim government announced on Thursday.
Lieutenant Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, the minister of territorial administration, told journalists that the first round of voting will take place on February 27 with a second round being held in March.
According to the government, the announcing of the dates is a sign of its commitment to “strictly uphold” a pledge of an 18-month transition for returning to an elected civilian government.
Mali was plunged into a political crisis after Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was ousted from office in August last year following mass civilian protests against his administration over corruption, the mismanagement of the economy and the fight against Islamist insurgents and a dispute over legislative elections.
The coup exacerbated an already fragile situation in the West African country which has been plagued by violence since 2012 when Islamist militants took over a Tuareg separatist rebellion in the north and seized several cities.
(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)