Mali appoints transitional government
Earlier this week, the Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS) and the African Union announced that they would lift
sanctions—including trade and travel blockades—on Mali as the country announced
its plans for a transitional government led by civilians.
On Monday, interim President Bah Ndaw, himself a former army colonel and foreign minister, announced the West African country’s 25-person cabinet, of which four major posts—defense, security, territorial administration, and national reconciliation—will be held by military officials.
Former Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the United Nations Moctar Ouane will join the government as transitional prime minister, satisfying a key condition posed by ECOWAS that the transitional government be led by a civilian.
The transitional government is expected to hold elections within 18 months.
On Wednesday, October 7, Mali satisfied another ECOWAS demand by releasing former Prime Minister Boubou Cisse and other officials and military personnel that were detained during the coup in August.
In related news, Mali released more than 100 jihadist prisoners last week in an apparent exchange for a politician and humanitarian aid workers who had been kidnapped by a jihadist group linked to al-Qaida.
The politician, Soumaila Cisse, a three-time presidential candidate, had been campaigning for legislative elections in the region of Timbuktu when he was abducted in March 2020 and was reelected to his parliament seat while in captivity.