Former Defense Minister Ba N’Daou was appointed as interim president with Colonel Assimi Goita as his vice president.
Rabat – Mali’s transitional military government has appointed the civilian former Minister Ba N’Daou as new interim president. N’Daou will see one of the bloodless coup’s leaders, Colonel Assimi Goita, take the vice presidency. Mali’s military leadership has acquiesced to the demands of the Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in appointing a civilian president to lead the country’s transition back to democracy.
Mali’s military government that overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita had appointed a council to find a civilian president to lead its transitional government. The 11 members of the council who voted for N’Daou included five representatives of the military government. Two June 5th Movement party members, two religious authorities, and two representatives from Malian civil society joined them.
The call for a civilian head of state was one of the key demands of the regional ECOWAS bloc. The West African states had established sanctions on Mali as it pushed for a quick resolution to the military coup that deposed the unpopular Keita on August 18.
The coup emerged and concluded in a single day without any reported casualties, but the arrest of Keita sparked outrage in the international community. On August 18 Keita stepped down saying, “Do I have a choice?” before finally being released from custody on August 27. On September 8 ECOWAS set a one-week deadline for Mali to establish a civilian government.
Mali’s military government and ECOWAS reached a compromise. The regional bloc would get its civilian president while the military in Mali could appoint a vice president from its ranks. The Malian military and ECOWAS agreed on an 18-month transitionary period during which they tasked N’Daou and Goita with organizing new elections.
Morocco has urged all parties to establish dialogue and keep the stability and prosperity of Mali’s 19 million citizens as the primary objective. Mali’s new vice president, Colonel Goita, thanked Morocco on August 26 for Moroccan diplomatic efforts in the matter.