Military Still Holds Key Positions In Mali’s New Transition Government

Mali has announced a new 20-member Transition Government with the military still holding four key positions of Defence, Security, National Reconciliation and Territorial Administration portfolios.

Col. Assimi Goita assumed the Interim Presidency after the “coup within a coup” on 24th May that sacked the previous transition government, in which he was the vice-President. He accused the former interim President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane of failing to consult him before announcing a cabinet reshuffle.

Goita also led the coup in August 2020 that toppled the government of elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

The second coup earned Mali membership suspension from the regional bloc ECOWAS and the African Union.

France and the U.S. have also suspended military cooperation and support to Mali, French President Emmanuel Macron also announced on Thursday that France would reduce its Barkane forces and transform its military operation in the Sahel, fighting terrorism and Jihadist insurgencies.

After his official inauguration as Interim president on Monday, Col Goita appointed Cheguol Maiga, a former Malian Minister and member of the influential M5 Movement as Prime Minister of the new Transition government.

Abdoulaye Diop, Malian former Foreign Minister and one-time Ambassador to the U.S. is named Foreign Minister of the Transition government.

Other figures from M5, the group which started the street protests that led to the coup against former President Keita also feature on the new cabinet list.

With the military retaining its positions and Col Sadio Camara returning as Defence Minister in the new cabinet (he was in the previous transition government), not much has changed apart from the inclusion of more M5 figures in the cabinet.

It remains to be seen the direction the Goita-led government taking volatile Mali in the insecurity troubled Sahel West African region.

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