New Malian president Keita takes office
The presidential inauguration of Ibrahim Boubacar Keita commonly known by his initials IBK took place on Wednesday morning. A private ceremony marking the transition of power preceded the event.
“I swear before God and the people of Mali to faithfully preserve the republican regime, to respect and uphold the constitution and the law, to fulfil my duties in the best interests of the people, to preserve the democratic gains, to ensure national unity, independence of the country and the integrity of the national territory,” Keita said.
Both the former interim president pandora charms uk Dioncounda T pandora charms uk raore, the challenger in the run off, Soumaila Cisse, as well as other Malian officials were in attendance at the international conference center in the capital city Bamako. Foreign dignitaries plan to make an appearance at a public ceremony and festivities on September 19.
Malians gave IBK 77.6 percent of the vote in an August run off election against challenger Soumaila Cisse, after failing to capture the majority in late July.
The 68 year old longtime politician ran on the campaign slogan of returning honor to Mali. His popularity stems from his reputation as a firm leader who has political experience as a prime minister, finance minister and speaker of the National Assembly.
Keita’s administration marks the final transition of power from the country’s interim government, which regained control with the help of a French led military intervention earlier this year. The successful election of a new leader also met the condition set by international donors for unlocking 4 billion euros ($5.34 billion) in aid needed to restabilize the country.
Both Keita and Cisse ran against the last president, Amadou Toumani Toure, in 2002. Five years later, Keita attempted to oust the incumbent president again, but only gained 19 percent of the vote.
IBK’s first task involves reaching an agreement with allied northern separatist groups pandora charms uk seeking autonomy from Bamako. Ahead of the run off election, they had signed an agreement with Tuareg rebels and related umbrella groups pandora charms uk to work together for more independence from the Malian government, indicating their determination to have their demands met by the new leadership.
Unrest began in early 2012 with a military coup which led to the ouster of then President Amadou Toumani Toure. The weakened state allowed the Tuareg separatist National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) to gain control in the country’s north. Al Qaeda linked Islamist groups helping the ethnic separatist group gradually exercised their own influence over the region and imposed an extreme version of Islamic law.
In January, the government in Bamako asked France to lead a military intervention to halt a rebel led march toward the capital city. Thousands more troops, mainly from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) joined the effort.