President of Mali’s transitional government meets ECOWAS delegates
Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan met on Tuesday in Bamako with the president of Mali’s new transitional government, Colonel Assimi Goita, to mediate the transition to elections in the country. Jonathan heads a delegation from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which mediates talks with MINUSMA, the United Nations mission in Mali and other international delegates.
ECOWAS called for the immediate appointment of a new civilian prime minister in Mali and demanded the formation of a new “inclusive” government. “It is important that the government is inclusive,” said ECOWAS commission chairman Jean-Claude Brou Kassi on Tuesday evening. Goita was sworn in as president of the transitional government on Monday, strengthening his grip on power after carrying out his second coup in nine months.
The inauguration ceremony in the capital, Bamako, came as Mali faces growing isolation from the international community due to the junta’s seizure of power. The African Union suspended Mali’s membership and France temporarily suspended joint military operations with the Malian army to pressure Goita to withdraw.
Goita, who first seized power in August 2020 by overthrowing the democratically elected president of Mali, ultimately agreed to a transitional government headed by a civilian president and prime minister. But two weeks ago, he ousted those civilian leaders after announcing a cabinet reshuffle that dismissed two junta supporters without consulting him. Continuing political instability in Mali, many fear, could further embolden Islamist extremists, who have been carrying out attacks for nearly a decade in the unstable north of the country.
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