France To Back Mali’s Power Transition On ECOWAS Terms

France will support the transitional government in Mali but only on conditions set by the Economic of West African States (ECOWAS), the European country’s Foreign Ministry has said.

The ministry also said France has taken note of the first appointments to the Malian transition government.

The military junta responsible for the August 18 coup in Mali on Monday appointed former Defence Minister, Ba N’Daou, as the transition president. N’Daou is due to serve on his post for 18 months before a new government is elected.

“France is ready to accompany and support the civil transition in Mali that will take place under the conditions set by ECOWAS,” the statement said.

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Paris also called the appointments to the transition government an “encouraging first step” in the process of curbing the political crisis in Mali, which should translate into democratic elections of legitimate authorities.

The ministry added that further appointments to the transition government were expected under the observation of African and European experts.

The military coup in Mali began on Aug. 18 not far from the capital of Bamako and resulted in the resignation of then-President Ibrahim Keita and his government.

The coup leaders established the CNSP (National Committee for the Salvation of the People) governing body until the transition government takes power.

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On Sept. 7, the 15-nation ECOWAS bloc urged the junta to appoint members of government for a transitional period until Sept. 23, saying it would otherwise impose a full embargo on the country.

Yesterday, Mali’s new vice president, Colonel Assimi Goita, called on the 15-member ECOWAS to lift economic sanctions imposed in the wake of last month’s coup.

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