Putschist leader takes over the presidency in Mali | free press

What happens after the military coup in Mali? The chief of the putschists is now responsible for state affairs. In any case, the EU wants to continue with its military operation.

Bamako (dpa) – In the West African crisis state of Mali, putschist leader Assimi Goita has been named the new interim president. The constitutional court in the capital Bamako handed over official duties to the 38-year-old colonel on Friday evening (local time).

Goita led a military coup last August that overthrew President-elect Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. Earlier this week, the military also forced previous interim President Bah N’Daw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane to resign.

A Constitutional Court decree now says that Goita “must lead the transition process to the end”. Most recently, he was vice president. Bah N’Daw and Ouane should have ensured the return to civilian rule and prepared elections. They have since been arrested. They are now free again. The political situation in the country of 20 million inhabitants has not been stable for years. The Bundeswehr takes part in an international mission with several hundred soldiers.

There should be new elections next year

The international community – including the UN, Germany and France – had condemned the imprisonment. After the last coup, Goita promised that there would be new elections next year. The West African regional alliance Ecowas wants to talk about the new development on Sunday.

The EU announced on Friday that it would continue its military operation in Mali despite the chaotic situation. The training mission’s activities continued, given its significant contribution to the fight against terrorism, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said after a meeting of defense ministers in Lisbon. Other countries in the Sahel region and the EU itself also benefited from the mission.

Terror in Mali

The former French colony has been ravaged by Islamic terror groups for years. In 2013, only a massive French military operation repulsed their advance towards Bamako. Some of these groups have pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS) or Al Qaeda. France is fighting terrorist groups in the vast Sahel region with about 5,100 soldiers.

The aim of the EU mission is to support the armed forces in the region through advice and training, so that they can effectively counter the threats posed by these groups. Up to 1077 soldiers are involved in the EUTM Mali mission. Germany delivered about 450 at the end of the day. From June there will be as many as 600 soldiers.

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