BAMAKO - A group of political parties and civil society organisations in Mali on Monday appealed to the country’s Supreme Court to overturn the ruling junta’s order on suspension of political activities.

The West African country has been under military rule since a coup occurred in 2020.

Tensions rose in recent weeks over the authorities’ failure to organise promised elections and their subsequent decree limiting political life in the name of maintaining public order.

The allied political and civil society groups noted in a statement that it opposed the April 10 order, saying they had turned to Mali’s top court “intending to annul the decree which they consider tyrannical and oppressive.’’

It was not immediately clear when the court might consider the appeal.

Mali’s current junta seized power in a second coup in 2021 and later promised to restore civilian rule by March 2024 following elections in February of this year.

However, the authorities said last September they would indefinitely postpone the February elections for technical reasons, deepening concerns about democratic backsliding in West and Central Africa, where there have been eight coups over the past four years.

“We are witnessing the restriction of civic space and an attempt to seize power,” said Drissa Traore, Secretary-General of the International Federation for Human Rights.

With the decree, “the Malian authorities are once again confirming their desire to stifle any dissenting voice and to lead Mali into an unprecedented dictatorial regime,” he said in a statement on Friday