The military junta leader in Mali, Col Assimi Goïta, has appointed himself interim president of the country. The previous transitional president Bah Ndaw and the prime minister Moctar Ouane, who was arrested earlier this week by Goita, have also been released. The army will continue to hold power for the time being.
It is not yet clear whether there are conditions attached to the release of Bah Ndaw and Moctar Ouane. Colonel Goita previously stated that he had fired the two men because they would have formed a new government without consulting him, although he is in charge of defense and security. According to the leader of the junta, Ndaw and Ouane would like to sabotage the transition in the country.
Pressure from international organizations
International communities, including the United Nations and the European Union, had put pressure on Goita to release the leaders. Although he has, he will “remain in office as transition president until further notice,” he said.
In turn, diplomats on the ground stated that Goita would lead the transition and appoint a prime minister. In doing so, the army chief completely ignores the international demand for the civilian government to rule the country again.
Ndaw and Ouane came to power last year when a transitional government was established following a military coup led by Goita. After the military coup, the two had to prepare the country for new elections in a year and a half, after which a civilian government could come to power again.
Now, however, it would be the second coup in nine months. According to Goita, the elections will take place next year as planned.