The votes are in following a presidential runoff election in Mali aimed at ending two years of political turmoil. Official returns are yet to be released, but with the concession of one of the two remaining candidates, the way appears clear for the troubled West African nation to begin taking its next steps toward peace, stability and national reconciliation.
Following the return of a democratically-elected government to office, we will seek to normalize foreign assistance to Mali.
The United States commends Soumaila Cisse for his decision to end his candidacy and to step aside gracefully. It is a testament to his sense of responsibility to Mali’s voters and to the democratic process.
With certification of the results by the Ministry of Territorial Administration and the Constitutional Court, Mali’s next president must guide his nation through many challenges. He will lead a people torn by political and sectarian divisions at a time of many needed government reforms.
Not the least is beginning an inclusive reconciliation process with northern Mali, an effort that will require negotiating with armed separatists who moved to seize control of the northern half of the country in early 2012.
The United States has been and will remain a committed partner with Mali and its people as they move beyond this transitional phase to further pursue peace, security, development and national reconciliation.
Following the return of a democratically-elected government to office, we will seek to normalize foreign assistance to Mali. Our aid programs will be reviewed and revised to assist the country’s current security and development needs.
And we intend to continue our close coordination with our partners in the international community and with the newly-elected Malian government to ensure that any renewed aid addresses the nation’s most pressing needs in an efficient and effective manner.