Mali’s transitional president appointed former minister of foreign affairs, Mr Moctar Ouane, on Sunday as the West African nation’s prime minister days after being sworn into office.
The appointment of a civilian prime minister was a major condition imposed by West African regional economic bloc, ECOWAS, on Mali to lift sanctions that were imposed after an Aug. 18 coup. ECOWAS had closed borders to Mali and stopped financial flows to put pressure on the junta to quickly return to a civilian government.
Former Defense Minister and retired Colonel Major, Mr Bah N’Daw was inducted Friday as the new transitional president while Mr Assimi Goita, head of the junta that staged the coup, was installed as Mali’s new vice president. The three government heads are to lead the transitional government to an election in 18 months.
The appointment of Ouane, 64, was made by official decree Sunday and signed by N’Daw. Ouane was minister of foreign affairs from 2004 to 2011 under former President Amadou Toumani Toure. He also served as Mali’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1995 to 2002 and later as a diplomatic adviser to ECOWAS.
The junta, which calls itself National Committee for the Salvation of the People, deposed President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August, detaining him, the prime minister and other government officials. Keita, who became ill, was eventually released and has gone to the United Arab Emirates for treatment.
ECOWAS became involved in negotiations that have pressed for a quick return to civilian rule.