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The president and the transitional vice-president in Mali, Bah Ndaw, retired from the army, and Colonel Assimi Goïta, officially took up their functions on Friday for a period of 18 months. A transition which should allow the return to power of a civilian government resulting from elections. ECOWAS announced the maintenance of sanctions until the appointment of a Prime Minister from civil society.

“To lead a stable, peaceful and successful transition under the agreed conditions and deadlines”. In his inauguration speech, Friday, September 25, in Bamako, the transitional president Bah Ndaw detailed his roadmap: “Do everything so that Mali returns to full constitutional legality, with elected authorities and legitimate representatives“.

The 70-year-old retired officer and Colonel Goïta, head of the junta in power since the August 18 putsch against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, were successively sworn in before the President of the Supreme Court, Wafi Ougadeye Cissé.

This investiture is supposed to mark the beginning of a period of transition for a maximum of 18 months, preparing for general elections and the return of civilians to the head of the country, recalled the attorney general of the Supreme Court, Boya Dembélé.

“It should not go on forever, that is understood”, insisted the prosecutor, citing several times the articles of the “transitional charter” of September 12, whose content has not been formalized.

Sanctions maintained

The ceremony, attended by many soldiers in uniform, was held in the presence of former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, mediator mandated by the Community of West African States (ECOWAS), who had to decide to lift or not its sanctions following this double investiture.

“We are optimistic that this event will mark the beginning of the return to normality in Mali,” Goodluck Jonathan said Thursday evening on his official Twitter account.

However, following the ceremony, the president of the group Jean-Claude Kassi Broude announced the maintenance of sanctions until the appointment of a Prime Minister from civil society.

At a summit on the Malian crisis last week, ECOWAS called for the immediate appointment of civilians as president and prime minister of the transition.

Bah Ndaw, a retired Colonel Major, was briefly Minister of Defense in 2014 to President Keïta. It is he who will appoint the Prime Minister, according to the transition plan adopted by the junta.

The choice of the Prime Minister is considered to be a matter of a few days at most.

With AFP

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