The timing of the transition is accelerating in Mali. After days of rumors, of arm wrestling with the West African Economic Community (ECOWAS), it is indeed a civilian who was chosen to occupy the strategic post of Prime Minister of the transition. This is in any case what reveals the appointment this Sunday, September 27 of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Moctar Ouane, according to a decree signed by the interim president Bah N’Daw and read by the Deputy Secretary General of the Presidency, Sékou Traoré live on public television ORTM.
This career diplomat, Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2004 to 2011 under the presidency of Amadou Toumani Touré, predecessor of former President Keïta, was since 2016 Delegate General for Peace and Security of the Union Commission West African economic and monetary policy (Uemoa). He is a native of Bidi in the center of the country, the region most affected by jihadist attacks interspersed with intercommunal violence, which bloody the country. Polyglot, he holds a master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Dakar obtained in 1982. Subsequently, Moctar Ouane continued his studies at ENA in Paris from 1992 to 1993. Two years later, he was appointed Ambassador of Mali to the United Nations until 2002. A post which allowed the diplomat to forge important relations in the diplomatic world.
The formation of his government will be announced on Tuesday, an officer of the ruling junta told AFP, on condition of anonymity.
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Mali knows its new leaders
The West African bloc had demanded that a civilian head of government be installed as a condition for lifting its sanctions against Mali. The ECOWAS, which imposed an embargo on trade and financial flows with Mali two days after the putsch, announced on Friday that it would lift its sanctions “when a civilian prime minister is appointed”.
Openly worried about the risk of a lasting hold by the military over the process, ECOWAS also demanded assurances that the vice-president, in charge of defense and security issues, could in no case replace the president, as well as the dissolution of the junta.
She also calls for the release of the personalities arrested since August 18, including former Prime Minister Boubou Cissé.
During his swearing-in before the Supreme Court on Friday, the transitional president assured the ECOWAS of “the determination of the Malians to lead a stable, peaceful and successful transition under the agreed conditions and deadlines”.
“My greatest satisfaction will lie in handing over the witness to the future elected President of the Republic, properly elected and unquestionably elected,” he said.
The transition charter “will constitute my breviary,” he said, referring to the document drawn up during three days of national consultation on the transition which ended on September 12.
The exact content of this charter, however invoked throughout the inauguration ceremony of the president and vice-president, has not been officially published. “You take the reins of your country at one of the crucial moments in its history. Your task will be difficult because the expectations of your people are immense and each one more urgent than the next, ”the President of the Supreme Court, Wafi Ougadeye Cissé, warned them on Friday. “Your people thirst for peace, security, stability, national unity, concord, social cohesion and justice”, he stressed.
According to the first echoes from Mali, this appointment is also a surprise insofar as he was not on the list of 14 personalities proposed by the M5RFP for the post.
Now, here is Mali with three key figures who will oversee the 18-month transition to civilian rule: the interim president, Bah Ndaw, a retired colonel and former defense minister, a transitional vice-president, the Colonel Assimi Goïta, who is none other than the head of the junta and Moctar Ouane, responsible for forming a government, preparing the next elections and putting the institutions back on the ground.
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