Mali’s Colonel Assimi Goita, following his second coup in nine months, will be sworn into office Monday as transitional president despite international condemnation of the power grab.
And while Goita is not known for being a great talker, the 37-year-old officer’s investiture speech will be closely followed, said one diplomat in the capital Bamako.
“It will be the moment for him to reassure and to solemnly make clear commitments on how the remaining eight months of the transition will go,” said the diplomat, who asked not to be identified.© MALIK KONATE Western embassies will be listening closely to what Goita has to say at his investiture speech
Following international pressure, the government installed after Goita’s first coup last August pledged to reform the constitution by October, and stage elections in February next year.
Now that Goita has brushed aside this first transitional administration to seize power again, Western diplomats will be listening carefully for confirmation that this is still the timetable in a country whose stability is crucial for the wider region.
The ambassadors themselves will stay away from the investiture ceremony, the diplomat said.© MICHELE CATTANI Colonel Goita, seen last September in Bamako, brushed aside a first transitional administration to seize power again
Instead, they will send more junior envoys to the event.
While that will be “neither a boycott not a sanction”, it will send “a political signal”, the diplomat added.
The ceremony will take place at the International Conference Centre in Bamako at 10 am (1000 GMT).
Mali is key to the stability of the Sahel region, and Western powers want to see a return to stable, civilian rule as soon as possible. For the moment, however, Goita and his fellow colonels are in charge.© Michele Cattani Choguel Kokalla Maïga of the M5 movement is expected to become prime minister
Goita dismissed the civilian president and prime minister of the transitional administration on May 24, leading former colonial power France to suspend its cooperation with the military — and for the African Union to suspend Mali’s membership.
– Maiga in frame –
France and Mali’s other partners want assurances that a civilian administration will be back in power come February 2022.
Goita is expected to nominate as his prime minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga, a former minister and member of the M5 protest movement which helped to force out former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita last August following mass protests over perceived corruption and a bloody jihadist insurgency.