Mali: ECOWAS lifts sanctions after appointment of new government

ECOWAS says it will lift sanctions initially im¬posed on Mali, the day after the appointment of a transitional gov¬ernment. The government is made up of the military, who hold sev¬eral key posts, members of armed groups, technocrats and known names from the M5 movement.
Citing “significant progress towards constitutional normal¬isation and to support this pro¬cess”, the heads of state and government of The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) decided to lift the re-maining sanctions against Mali.
Announced in a declaration dat¬ed 5 October, signed by Ghana’s President Nana Akufo Ado and the current chairman of ECOWAS, this decision was made public on Tues¬day, just hours after the announce-ment of the appointment of a tran¬sitional government, which was one of the conditions required by ECOWAS to the lifting of sanctions.
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More than a week after the ap¬pointment of diplomat Moctar Ouane as Prime Minister of the transition, the composition of his government was made pub¬lic on Monday evening 5 Octo¬ber by the Secretary General of the Presidency, Sekou Traore.
The 25 members of this execu¬tive in the guise of a government of national unity will be respon¬sible for leading the transition over the next eighteen months.
Three members of the junta
The junta is carving out a place for itself here. Indeed, several re¬galian portfolios have been en¬trusted to the military: four offi¬cers, three of whom are members of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) which overthrew Ibrahim Bou¬bacar Keïta on 18 August, have been appointed to key posts.
Colonel Sadio Camara, former director of Kati’s Prytanée mili¬taire and second vice-president of the CNSP, becomes minister of defence and former combatants.
Colonel Modibo Koné, for¬mer commander in Koro (Cen¬tre) and third vice-president of the junta, is appointed to the Security and Civil Protection.
Another strategic ministry, that of National Reconciliation, will be handed to another officer who led the coup d’état: Colo¬nel Major Ismaël Wagué, deputy chief of staff of the air force and spokesman of the CNSP (he was the most media-oriented figure in the days following the putsch).
Ministers from armed groups
Members of armed groups that are signatories to the 2015 Peace and Reconciliation Agreement have also joined the government.
Mossa Ag Attaher and Mah¬moud Ould Mohamed, of the Co¬ordination of Movements of Aza¬wad (CMA), have been appointed respectively Minister of Youth and Sports and Minister of Agri¬culture, Livestock and Fisheries.
Harouna Mahamadou Toureh, Minister of Labour and Civ¬il Service, will also serve as the government spokesperson, and Alhamdou Ag Ilyene will become Minister of Malians Abroad and African Integration.
Civil society
It should also be noted that several personalities from civ¬il society, including some affil¬iated to the 5 June Movement – Rally of Patriotic Forces (M5- RFP), have been appointed.
This is the case of Mohamed Salia Touré, former president of the National Youth Council (CNJ) and member of the Coordination of movements, associations and sup¬porters of Imam Mahmoud Dicko. He “inherits” the Ministry of Em¬ployment and Vocational Training.
The former prosecutor of the anti-corruption unit, Mohamed Sidda Dicko, takes on a notable role as Minister of Justice and Human Rights. A position that is all the more strategic as the new authorities are particular¬ly awaited on issues of the fight against impunity and corruption.
Another figure from civil soci¬ety, Mohamed Coulibaly, close to Sheik Oumar Sissoko, is entrusted with the Refounding of the State and Relations with Institutions.
Hamadoun Touré, former Sec¬retary General of the Internation¬al Telecommunication Union, is appointed Minister of Com¬munication and Digital Econo¬my. Although he was not one of its most media-oriented lead-ers, he was a member of the M5.
Led by Moctar Ouane, this gov¬ernment also includes several per¬sonalities with technocratic profiles.
Zeïni Moulaye, former Minister of Transport and Tourism from 1989 to 1991, former ambassador of Mali in Saudi Arabia from 2016 to 2020 and former diplomatic adviser of IBK, has been appoint¬ed the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Alhousseini Sanou becomes Min¬ister of Economy and Finance, while Doulaye Konaté has been appointed the Minister of National Education.
The congressio¬nal portion for women
On the other hand, the new 25-member government team has only four women. Apart from the fact that this is contrary to the legislation, which provides that at least 30% of elective and nominative positions should be given to women, none of them have obtained a regalian ministry.
Kadiatou Konaré, daughter of former President Alpha Omar Konaré, has been appointed Min¬ister of Culture, Handicrafts and Tourism. Fanta Siby becomes Minister of Health and Social De¬velopment and Bernadette Keïta will be in charge of the Environ¬ment, Sanitation and Sustainable Development. Finally, Bintou Founé Samaké is the new Min¬ister for the Promotion of Wom¬en, Children and the Family.
Ecowas calls for the dis¬solution of the CNSP
In announcing the lifting of sanctions, ECOWAS “noted” the inauguration of Bah N’Daw as President of the transition and the appointment of Moctar Ouane, a civilian, as Prime Minister.
It also noted that in the Char¬ter of Transition published in the Official Gazette, the provisions allowing the Vice-President – in this case Colonel Assimi Goï¬ta – to replace the President of the transition were removed.
However, the regional organisa¬tion called on the new authorities to “rapidly implement the other deci¬sions of the Summit (held in Accra on 15 September), in particular the release of all military and civilian officials arrested on 18 August 2020 and the dissolution of the CNSP”.