Mali court appoints Asimi Goita as interim president

As soon as West African leaders were ready to respond to the talks in Mali, the appointment of a coup leader increased the stakes.

Mali’s Constitutional Court this week appointed a colonel to lead the army as the country’s new interim leader.

In an order issued late on Friday, Asmita Goita said she would take the transition to a “tug-of-war” and assume the title of “transitional president, head of state.”

The court ruled that the presidency was “vacant” following the resignation of caretaker President Bah एन’u’llh.

Ita, a 38-year-old former NWA deputy, had on Monday ordered the arrest of the former leader following a cabinet reshuffle that removed two former ministers.

Andav resigned in custody on Wednesday and was later released.

Friday’s decision comes as West African leaders decide how to react to their rights at a meeting on Sunday, fearing that regional and Western governments could increase instability in northern and central Mali and weaken the regional fight against al-Qaeda-linked armed groups. – Law and ISIL

This is Goita’s second attempt to seize power in less than a year.

Last August, the colonel led a campaign to oust Mali’s president-elect, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, in protest of corruption and the government’s inability to stop armed groups. But facing the threat of regional sanctions, Goita and other beleaguered leaders agreed to hand over power to a civilian transitional government that would return the country to civilian rule.

The colonel was then appointed vice-president of the interim government and his fellow soldiers were given the post of chief minister.

At the time, moderators from the West African States’ one-member economic community (ECOWAS) insisted that Mali’s transition, which is due to end in February, was led by civilians. The bloc said in a joint statement that the vice president “cannot take over the presidency under any circumstances.”

The ECOWAS heads of state will meet in Ghana on Sunday.

A report from Mali’s capital, Bamako, said Al Jazeera’s Nicholas Haque had appointed Goita as interim president “for a long time.”

Andav’s detention on Monday dispelled the illusion of a transition to civic leadership, Haq said, while the Constitutional Court’s ruling made it clear that “Mali’s real strongman is Asmi Goita.”

“During the announcement, Goita met with religious leaders, union leaders and the opposition to try to advance their cause,” Haq said. “So this court’s decision doesn’t come as a surprise.”

Goita also said there was a serious threat of regional sanctions.

Earlier Friday, the colonel seized his newest power after his latest public remarks and said the military had little choice but to intervene.

“We had to choose between disorder and unity in the defense and security forces, and we chose unity,” he said.

He stressed that he would name a new prime minister from among the members of the M5-RFP coalition who protested against the boy last year and came out with Andaw and Owen during the transition.

Coalition member Gmail Vitter said the choice for the post was not a former government minister.

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