A new interim president has been inaugurated in Mali, an important step in resolving the political crisis in the West African country.
Bah N’daw and Colonel Assimi Goita were sworn in on Friday (25 September) as President and Vice President of Mali’s Transition Government respectively at a ceremony attended by military officers and judges in Bamako. Goita led the military coup that deposed former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita last month.
The transition government will be in office for 18 months during which it will organise new elections to produce a democratically elected president and parliament and restore all organs of a democracy.
In a speech, Ndaw, a 70-year-old retired colonel, said he would strive for “a stable, calm and successful transition, in the agreed conditions and timeframe”.
“Mali has given me everything. I am happy to be its submissive slave, willing to do everything for it to return to full constitutional legality, with elected authorities and legitimate representatives,” the interim president, who is a former defence minister, declared.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), through his mediator, former President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, played a crucial role in the resolution of the crisis. However, the regional bloc said it would lift its sanctions on Mali only after a civilian prime minister is appointed.
The 15-nation ECOWAS imposed sanctions on Mali after the coup.