Mali’s former minister of foreign affairs, Moctar Ouane, has been named as the country’s transitional prime minister.
The appointment of a civilian prime minister was a notable stipulation imposed by the West African regional economic bloc, ECOWAS, in order to lift the imposed sanctions following the Aug. 18 coup.
ECOSWAS imposed trade restrictions, which included a ban on commercial trade and financial flows. Necessities such as drugs, fuel, and equipment to fight the coronavirus pandemic were not included in the ban.
Ouane served as Mali’s ambassador to the United Nations from 1995-2002, and as foreign minister from 2004-2009 during Amadou Toumani Toure’s presidency.
The appointment comes two days after the country’s junta handed over power to former Mali defense minister Ba N’Daou.
The new leadership has just 18 months to prepare for the upcoming election — a timeline set by the 15-member bloc.
ECOWAS also directed that the vice-president, whose remit includes defense and security issues, cannot under any circumstances replace the president.
“I will never be happier than when handing over to the future elected president, without question elected and elected cleanly,” N’Daou said at his swearing-in ceremony on Friday.
Last month, Keita announced his immediate resignation on state television following a military mutiny. Soldiers abducted him and his prime minister, holding them captive for a week.
“If today, certain elements of our armed forces want this to end through their intervention, do I really have a choice?” Keita asked. “I hold no hatred towards anyone, my love of my country does not allow me to,” he added. “May God save us.”