On August 18, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was ousted in a widely condemned military takeover. The United States immediately halted its security assistance to the government in Mali. And the West African regional economic bloc, ECOWAS, suspended Mali from its institutions and imposed sanctions, pending the formation of a civilian transitional government.
In late September, Bah N’Daw, a retired colonel was appointed transitional president in Mali. Colonel Assimi Goita, head of the junta that staged the coup, was installed as Mali’s new transitional vice president.Civilian diplomat and former Foreign Minister Moctar Ouane was named as transitional prime minister. They will be tasked with overseeing an 18-month civilian transition culminating with democratic elections.
On October 5, the transitional president, Bah N’Daw, named the full cabinet. ECOWAS then lifted sanctions.
The United States views the establishment of this transitional government as an initial step towards a return to constitutional order.
State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said, “We urge the transitional government to honor its commitments to the Economic Community of West African States, including holding democratic elections within 18 months.”
It will also be important for the transitional government to fulfill its pledges to the Malian people to strengthen governance, combat corruption, reform electoral processes, and implement the 2015 Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft stressed that the United States “will not accept military control over civilian authorities, delays to elections, or elections that are not credible.. . .Elections must also include the full, effective, and meaningful participation of women, internally-displaced peoples and refugees, youth populations, and marginalized northern groups.”
The United States is standing with the Malian people and has earmarked $54 million in new humanitarian assistance for Mali.
Spokesperson Ortagus said, “We firmly believe that a democratic, prosperous, and secure Mali is essential to the future of the Sahel region. As a partner of Mali for over 60 years, the United States will work with all who are committed to these goals. Now is the time for Malians to come together to build a better, brighter future for all.”