The leader of the Sahel state’s ruling military junta has announced Mali’s former defence minister Ba N’Daou as president of a new transition government.
This the Junta announces on national television, today, while stating that the new president will rule in the country for several months until they pass leadership to civilians.
Immediately the Mali Junta staged a coup against the former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the African Union had ordered that they appoint civilian leaders to manage an 18-month transition towards elections after last month’s coup.
The AU’s 15-member security body late Thursday echoed the West African regional bloc ECOWAS, which imposed sanctions on landlocked Mali.
In a meeting with West African leaders in Ghana today, Junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita failed to resolve a critical sticking point; whether soldiers or civilians will lead the transition.
ECOWAS called for a civilian-led transition government to be installed “in days” while promising to lift its sanctions.
The sanctions placed were closed borders and a ban on trade and financial flows, once the change has been made.
Smail Chergui, the AU’s peace and security commissioner, said on Twitter Thursday night that he was calling “for a return to constitutional order and early civilian-led transition in Mali”.
A separate Twitter post from the official AU Peace and Security Department account said it backed ECOWAS’ call for an 18-month civilian transition.
Also, it “welcomed” the putschists’ decision to release Keita, ousted president, who was detained for more than a week, but aadded that they should also free prime minister Boubou Cisse and “other dignitaries”.