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Mali: New government staffed with military

June 11, 2021

The African country is reeling from its second coup in less than a year. The transitional government promised that elections would take place in early 2022.

Colonel Assimi Goita meeting with ECOWAS
Mali has been through two coups in the past yearImage: Francis Kokoroko/File Photo/Reuters

Mali's transitional government announced a new government on Friday, with several positions filled by army leaders.

Colonel Sadio Camara, who was removed from office last month, is taking up his old post as defense minister. Colonel Daoud Aly Mohammedine was named security minister.

Former security minister, Colonel Modibo Kone, was not included in the new government.

Colonel Assimi Goita, who lead coups last month and in August, was sworn in as the transitional president on Tuesday. Civilian Choguel Kokalla Maiga was named prime minister.

France cuts troops after coup

The reshuffle took place after last month's internationally condemned coup. There are concerns that the instability in Mali could deteriorate further after French President Emmanuel Macron declared a troop drawdown in the Sahel region.

Macron said Thursday that France "cannot be a substitute for political stability."

However, French Defense Minister Florence Parly said Friday that France's military commitment to the region "will remain very significant."

Promised elections

The new cabinet could still soothe tensions with Mali's partners and regional leaders. The transitional government promised new elections in February 2022, soon after they were hit with sanctions from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and removed from the African Union (AU).

ECOWAS said Wednesday it was "reassured" by Goita's promises to stage elections.

Chic Dambach, former chair of the Mali Affinity Group, told DW, "the commitment to free and fair elections and a return to civilian leadership in February is paramount."

kbd/ (AFP, Reuters)