Leader of Mali’s junta Col Assimi Goïta has officially been sworn in as the troubled country’s interim president and promised “credible, fair and transparent elections” which are expected in February next year, AFP reports.
On May 24 Goita dismissed the transitional civilian president and prime minister, which caused former colonial power France to suspend its cooperation with the military.
The African Union also suspended Mali’s membership.
But on Monday, Goita assured Mali would respect its commitments to the international community and expressed his desire to organise “credible, fair, transparent elections within the scheduled deadlines,” that is to say, February 2022.
“I would like to reassure the sub-regional and regional organizations and the international community in general that Mali will honour all of its commitments for and in the best interests of the nation,” he said after his inauguration as transitional president.
Goita is expected to nominate as his prime minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga, a former minister and member of the M5 protest movement, which helped to force out former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita last August following mass protests over perceived corruption and a bloody jihadist insurgency.
M5 became sidelined in the army-dominated post-coup administration, dubbing the transitional government a “disguised military regime”.
But there has been a noticeable rapprochement between the group and the army since the May 24 coup.
Maiga, 63, insisted Friday that his country would abide by its international obligations, and he also paid homage to French troops who have died in the country.