Bah Ndaw sworn in as Mali’s interim president

Bah Ndaw has been sworn in as Mali’s new president, five weeks after the overthrow of Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.

A former Defence Minister, 70-year-old Ndaw was picked by the coup leader, Colonel Assimi Goita, to head a transitional government until elections, which are expected in 18 months.

Following the new arrangement, Col Goita will be his vice-president.

The appointment of a civilian president was a condition for the West African regional group, Ecowas, to lift the sanctions it imposed after the coup.

A Soviet-trained helicopter pilot who rose through the ranks of Mali’s air force, Mr Ndaw most recently served as defence minister for the ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.

He left in 2015 after less than a year, prompting speculation of a fallout over reintegrating deserters into the country’s military.

Apart from the economic woes aggravated by sanctions following the coup, the West African nation is struggling with intense Islamist violence, with thousands of French, African and UN troops based in the country to tackle the militants.


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