The leader of Mali’s interim government, retired Lieutenant Colonel Ba N’Daou appointed a new civilian prime minister on Sunday. Former Foreign Minister Moktar Ouane was appointed for the new role.
Prior to becoming Mali’s Foreign Minister between 2004 and 2011, he was Mali’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1995 to 2002. Moctar Ouane is also a diplomatic adviser to the West African regional bloc, Ecowas.
Ecowas said it would not lift sanctions imposed on Mali even though the country has an interim president. The bloc said the sanctions imposed on Mali will not be lifted until the transitional government appoints a civilian prime minister.
Sanctions against Mali include closing borders and stopping financial flows, although they have been relaxed so that they do affect ordinary civilians.
The Ecowas delegation in Mali, led by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, told reporters that the regional bloc would not be ready to lift sanctions against Mali until a civilian prime minister was appointed.
It appears that Ouane’s recent appointment have resolved Ecowas’ demands to pave the way for sanctions relief.
Last month, troops toppled the government of former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta. The interim president and his current government are expected to lead an 18-month transition period to return to civilian rule.
The chairman of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People who staged the coup, Colonel Assimi Goita, is now acting vice president.