Assimi Goita, the Malian colonel who ousted civilian President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane on May 24, has been sworn into office as the new interim president despite facing a diplomatic backlash over his second power grab in nine months.
Mr Goïta ousted the civilian president and prime minister last month after accusing them of failing to consult him about a cabinet reshuffle.
“I swear before God and the Malian people to preserve the republican regime … to preserve democratic gains,” Al Jazeera reported the 37-year-old military leader as saying on Monday after being inaugurated at a security-tight ceremony in the capital, Bamako.
Regaled in full military attire at the ceremony, Mr Goïta later named opposition leader and former minister, Choguel Maiga, as prime minister of the transitional government, according to a decree read on state television.
In the wake of last month’s coup led by Mr Goïta, former colonial power France suspended its cooperation with the Malian military while the African Union and West African regional bloc ECOWAS suspended Mali from the pan-African bodies.
Mr Goïta served as Mali’s vice president under the transitional government formed in September to oversee a return to civilian rule by February next year.
But a second coup over dissatisfaction in Mr Goïta’s camp knifed that.
The military seized the president, prime minister and defence minister of the transitional government, forcing them to resign before they were released.
Mr Goïta later installed himself as president, promising to move on with the transition programme as planned. Days later, a constitutional court affirmed his declaration.
Mr Goita and several other young colonels had staged a coup in August that overthrew democratically elected President Ibrahim Keïta following protests over perceived corruption and fighting with armed groups.
Mali has been battling to starve off armed militias. Its stability is seen as key to the stability of the Sahel region.