Mali: Assimi Goïta invested head of state

Two weeks to the day after his second coup in nine months in mali, Colonel Assimi Goïta was sworn in this Monday, June 7, at the International Conference Center in Bamako as head of state before the Supreme Court.

At a time when the Sahel remains more than ever in the grip of jihadist violence, Colonel Assimi Goïta was invested president of the transition period supposed to bring civilians back to power in Mali.

While the main international partners demand guarantees that the military will give way in early 2022 after the two coups d’état, the colonel assured that his country would respect all its commitments.

“I would like to reassure the sub-regional and regional organizations and the international community in general that Mali will honor all of its commitments for and in the best interests of the nation”, declared Colonel Goïta, after taking the oath in ceremonial uniform before the Supreme Court.

“I swear before God and the Malian people to faithfully preserve the republican regime (…) to preserve democratic gains, to guarantee national unity, the independence of the motherland and the integrity of the national territory,” he declared solemnly.

The former special forces battalion commander underlined in particular his willingness to organize “credible, fair and transparent elections on the scheduled dates.”

The soldiers had committed, after a first putsch on August 18, 2020, to organize presidential and legislative elections on February 27, 2022.

This commitment had, however, been called into question by a new putsch on May 24, when Colonel Goïta, who remained the strong man in power, had the President and the Prime Minister, civil guarantors of the transition started after the first coup, arrested.

ECOWAS, followed by the African Union and the Organization of La Francophonie, suspended Mali from its institutions. It demanded the “immediate appointment of a civilian Prime Minister”, affirmed the need for the transition period to remain limited to 18 months, as the military had grudgingly committed to after the first coup in August 2020, and declared that the scheduled presidential date should be maintained “at all costs” at February 27, 2022.

According to press reports, Choguel Kokalla Maïga, chairman of the Strategic Committee of the June 5 Movement, remains the favorite to the position of Prime Minister.

Kokalla Maïga, a veteran politician tried to reassure, by promising that his country would keep its international commitments. But the 63-year-old former minister also warned that “invectives, sanctions, threats will only complicate the situation.”

 

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