Solidarity will be needed in the weeks and months ahead as the nation under new leadership works through the many challenges now facing Mali.
Mali’s Constitutional Court has affirmed the results of the August 11 presidential run-off election, clearing the way for Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to become the West African nation’s next leader.
The former prime minister received slightly more than 77 percent of the vote to 22 percent for former finance minister Soumaila Cisse, who in a gesture of political and national reconciliation conceded the race when the outcome had become apparent.
That kind of solidarity will be needed in the weeks and months ahead as the nation under new leadership works through the many challenges now facing Mali. President-elect Keita will assume leadership of a country torn by political and sectarian divisions at a time of many needed government and economic reforms.
Not the least of these being the launching of an inclusive reconciliation process with the peoples of northern Mali. This undertaking will require negotiating with armed separatists who moved to seize control of the northern half of the country in early 2012.
The United States congratulates the new president on his election. We also commend the interim government for securing peaceful and orderly voting, and its efforts to improve the electoral process throughout.
The transparent and credible manner in which the voting was conducted honors Mali’s democratic tradition, and reflects the progress that the nation has made over the past 18 months.
To ensure the best possibility of consolidating this progress, Mali’s new government must address the country’s most pressing challenges, including national reconciliation and security sector reform. To achieve meaningful security sector reform, Mali must assert effective civilian control and oversight of the military.