The new transitional Prime Minister of Mali, Choguel Kokalla Maiga has set an ambitious roadmap towards a return to civilian rule in February 2022.
Choguel Kokalla Maiga assembled his government for the first time on Sunday to set priorities for the West African nation, i.e. “the improvement of security, political and institutional reforms” and also the organization of highly anticipated credible elections to return civilians to power in February 2022.
The Malian Prime Minister addressing his government noted he “… will consider the creation of a single independent electoral management body, universally requested by the political class and civil society.
“Legal proceedings following the killings and abuses against the victims of the events of July 2020 will also be initiated.”
He plans to carry out an “intelligent re-reading” of the peace agreement signed in 2015 by an alliance of former Tuareg independence and Arab nationalist armed groups that had fought against Malian forces in the north from 2012, by the Malian government and by a coalition of armed groups loyal to the government.
He stated that the “fundamental principles” of this politically important agreement will be respected in an apparent pledge to the signatories, but also to Mali’s foreign partners.
Prime Minister Maiga also pointed out just how critical of a serious undertaking the moves of the military-dominated interim government will be over the next 8 months in order to salvage Mali’s democracy after two coup d’états in nine months both spearheaded by Colonel Assimi Goitia.
While charging his Council of Ministers, he noted Malians are watching and counting on the success of this transition which, for many of them, seems to be the last chance to save the nation in a race against time.”
The Prime Minister made his first significant meeting with the council of ministers since President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement on Thursday that Barkhane, the French operation in the Sahel, would be ended in favour of an international alliance.
Colonel Goïta assured that the commitment previously made to hold elections on 27 February 2022 in order to hand over power to civilians would be kept.
After the first ten months, which have seen little progress apart from the setting up of transitional bodies, there are just over eight months left for the leadership team to complete considerable tasks, while facing the many security, social and health challenges that remain.