Mali’s Interim President Bah Ndaw on Sunday appointed former Foreign Minister Moctar Ouane as the country’s new prime minister, Africa News.
“Moctar Ouane is appointed Prime Minister,” the President said in a decree, released on the Malian government’s Twitter account.
The 64-year-old Ouane had served as Mali’s permanent representative to the United Nations from 1995-2002 and as the country’s foreign minister from 2004-2009. Since 2016 he has served as peace and security representative for the West African Monetary Union (WAMU). The other cabinet appointments are expected to be named on Tuesday.
Ouane’s appointment as the prime minister is likely to result in the lifting of sanctions imposed by the West Africa regional bloc in the aftermath of the military coup last month. The military coup ousted former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. Before the coup, Keita had faced months of protests over his failure to end the violence or to drag the country out of a grinding economic and institutional crisis.
The bloc had closed borders to Mali and stopped financial flows to put pressure on the junta to quickly return to a civilian government. The appointment of a civilian prime minister was a major condition imposed by the West African regional economic bloc, ECOWAS, on Mali to lift the sanctions.
The bloc also demanded that the vice-president, whose remit includes defence and security issues, cannot under any circumstances replace the president. It also insisted that the junta be dissolved, and has called for people arrested since the coup including former Prime Minister Boubou Cisse to be released.
Last week, Former Defense Minister Bah N’Daw was named as the new transitional president while Col. Assimi Goita, head of the junta that staged the coup, was installed as the new vice president. The three government heads are to lead the transitional government to an election in 18 months.