Retired Colonel Bah Ndaou was sworn in today, Friday, as interim president of Mali, to oversee an 18-month transitional period, after which the country would return to civilian rule, after a military coup on August 18.
The Commander of the Military Council, Colonel Asimi Guetta, was sworn in as vice president during the transitional period, at a ceremony in the capital, Bamako.
Ndau – who was chosen as a transitional president after last month’s coup – said in a speech that he would strive for a “stable, quiet and successful transition under the agreed conditions and time frame.”
He added, “Mali has given me everything, I am happy to be an obedient slave to it, and I am ready to do everything in my power to return to full constitutional legality, with elected authorities and legitimate representatives.”
The retired colonel (70 years) and former defense minister also promised to fulfill Mali’s international obligations.
“The transitional period that begins will not contradict any international commitment on the part of Mali or the agreements signed by the government,” Ndaw stressed.
He also promised to continue a “merciless war” against “terrorist forces and organized crime”, and called for a minute of silence to honor the dead from the Malian, French and United Nations forces.
Rebellion and hopes
Mali, with the support of UN peacekeepers and France, has been struggling in the face of an eight-year insurgency that has claimed thousands of military and civilian lives.
Mali officials hope this will lead to the lifting of sanctions imposed by West African states on their country after the overthrow of President Ibrahim Abubakar Keita.
The envoy of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Goodluck Jonathan said on Wednesday that he hoped the sanctions would be lifted after the inauguration of Ndau, but that no decision had been taken yet.