West African leaders lift post-coup sanctions on Mali
West African leaders have lifted punishing sanctions imposed on Mali following a military coup in August that overthrew embattled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said “heads of state and government have decided to lift sanctions” in order to “support” the handover to civilian rule.
It noted the nomination of retired Colonel Bah Ndaw as interim president and former Foreign Minister Moctar Ouane as prime minister of the transition that is expected to last 18 months.
The move came a day after Ndaw, who was sworn in last month, appointed a 25-strong government tasked with leading the country to elections.
At least four central cabinet posts – defence, security, territorial administration and national reconciliation – went to military officials. One of the August 18 coup leaders, Colonel Sadio Camara, was named defence minister, while Colonel Modibo Kone got the security and civil protection portfolio. Colonel Ismael Wague, who broke the news of the coup in a dramatic night-time television broadcast, was appointed national reconciliation minister.
Civilians were also appointed to the transitional government, including former prosecutor Mohamed Sidda Dicko as justice minister and former ambassador Zeini Moulaye as foreign affairs minister.