Mali: the transitional government finally in place!

A little more than a week after the designation by the transitional president, Bah Ndaw, a retired colonel, of a former foreign minister, Moctar Ouane, as prime minister, Mali is fully entering the transition . The two interim leaders co-signed a decree appointing a government of 25 members. The previous one was dissolved on August 19, following the resignation of Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta. In place since 2013, President Keïta’s regime was weakened by months of protest over its inability to curb jihadist and intercommunity violence or to resolve the serious economic and institutional crisis into which the country is inexorably sinking.

The announcement of the appointment of this new government was made this Monday, October 5 live on public television, ORTM, by the Secretary General of the Presidency, Sékou Traoré.

Read also Mali: a transition in the middle of the ford

Soldiers in strategic sovereign positions …

First observation: the military have preempted no less than four strategic portfolios. These are Defense, Security, National Reconciliation and Territorial Administration. Among the soldiers who enter the government, we retain the personality of Colonel Sadio Camara, one of the leaders of the ex-junta. He becomes Minister of Defense. He was notably director of the military Prytanee in Kati, on the outskirts of Bamako, where the military camp from which the coup started is located. Another leader of the ex-junta, Colonel Modibo Koné, wins the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection. The spokesperson for the ex-junta, Colonel-Major Ismaël Wagué, who had announced in the middle of the night on television the seizure of power by the army, obtained the portfolio of National Reconciliation. Another soldier, Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga, takes the head of the Territorial Administration.

… support well-known personalities

Two figures of the former regime obtain royal ministries, the former prosecutor Mohamed Sidda Dicko is appointed to Justice and the former Ambassador Zeïni Moulaye to Foreign Affairs. The groups that signed the 2015 peace agreement are also represented in this transitional government. The former Tuareg-dominated rebellion from the North won Agriculture and Fishing, as well as Youth and Sports. The ex-armed groups pro-Bamako trust the Ministries of Malians Abroad and Labor as well as the function of government spokesperson.

Read also Mali draws lessons from the IBK years

The traditional “forgotten” political class

On the other hand, the M5, a protest movement which participated in the fall of the old regime and which claimed, according to the latest negotiations, a place equal to that of the military in the transition will have to be satisfied with three moroccos. Note the entry into this new government of relatives of Imam Dicko, the moral authority of M5. This is also the case of Mohamed Salia Touré appointed Minister of Employment.

In fact, the new Malian leaders have chosen to turn their backs on much of the former political staff. But should we yell at the misguided revolution, or even at the trompe-l’oeil putsch? For the moment, Malians are observing and taking the time to understand the acts of the ex-junta which precipitated the departure of President IBK, during a putsch officially carried out without bloodshed. Regardless, from the start the military has pledged to hand power back to elected civilian leaders after a transition period of up to 18 months. It is therefore important to see how the transition unfolds.

Read also Mali: ECOWAS does not give in to the junta

The Malians react …

Reading the first reactions of Internet users, Malians have high hopes for the men and women chosen to join this transitional government. Even if the first impatience is heard. “Suddenly those who were in the government at the time of the putsch, but who are coming back in the transition through the window, what are they called? “Asks a Malian internet user. “The refoundation of Mali cannot be done on incongruities: the military have nothing to do in a government. Their places are known in democracy in the Republic. Even Saudi Arabia does not have a military minister, ”denounces another, still on the web. But the main fact that grinds the teeth of many Malians is the low number of women in this new government. They are only four. Among them, there is Kadiatou Konaré, the daughter of former President Alpha Oumar Konaré. She takes the head of the Ministry of Culture. “It should be noted that this transitional government did not respect Law 052 which grants 30% of elective and nominative positions to women”, indicates radio Studio Tamani.

… pending the lifting of ECOWAS sanctions

Beyond these initial reactions, the formation of this government should allow Mali to move closer to lifting the sanctions imposed two days after the putsch by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The junta had already made an important concession to the demands of ECOWAS by renouncing its leader, Colonel Assimi Goïta, transitional vice-president, to replace President Bah N’daw in the event of his incapacity.

After numerous calls for the publication of the final version of the “transition charter” adopted on September 12 by the ex-junta, the document was officially published on October 1. In accordance with the wishes of ECOWAS, there is no question for the vice-president, “in charge of defense and security issues”, of the possibility of replacing the president. The charter assigns as objective to the transition the restoration of security on all the territory, of which two thirds escape the control of the central power, “the recovery of the State” and the organization of general elections.

However, all the demands of neighboring countries have not yet been met, in particular the formal dissolution of the ex-junta and the release of the civilian and military figures arrested during the putsch and still detained.

Read also Mali: Soumaïla Cissé and Sophie Pétronin soon released?

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