President returns and outlines transition government


Interim president Dioncounda Traore has return to the country two months after he was badly beaten by protesters objecting to his appointment as interim president. He took the role after a coup ousted former president Amadou Toumani Toure and Islamists seized all of the northern part of the country in early May.

In a speech broadcast on television last night he called on the people to join together to beat the invaders from the north and to create a new Mali. During the speech he announced that a new National Transition Council would be established and that there would be two vice presidents, one from the military and one from society.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has given the president until the end of July to form a new government if they are to support the country militarily in ousting the northern Islamist rebels. The president gave no timetable for the formation of his new government last night and it is difficult to see how he can meet the target. Equally it is unlikely that ECOWAS will do anything other than talk tough whilst the threat of instability remains in the country.

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