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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Mali: Ex defence minister named interim president as junta leader becomes VP

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Former Mali’s Defence Minister, Ba N’Daou, has been appointed as the country’s transition president.

Junta leader, Colonel Assimi Goita was appointed vice president.

The African Union (AU) had called on the military junta in Mali to quickly appoint civilian leaders to manage an 18-month transition towards elections after last month’s coup.

The AU’s 15-member security body late Thursday echoed the West African regional bloc ECOWAS, which imposed sanctions on landlocked Mali after the coup toppled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Junta leader, Colonel Assimi Goita met with West African leaders last week in Ghana but failed to resolve a critical sticking point — whether soldiers or civilians would lead the transition.

ECOWAS called for a civilian-led transition government to be installed “in days” and said the bloc would lift its sanctions — which include closed borders and a ban on trade and financial flows — once the change has been made.

Smail Chergui, the AU’s peace and security commissioner, said on Twitter Thursday night that he was calling for a return to constitutional order and early civilian-led transition in Mali.

A separate Twitter post from the official AU Peace and Security Department account said it backed ECOWAS’ call for an 18-month civilian transition.

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