Ex-PM Ouane free to travel abroad again
Mali's former prime minister Moctar Ouane has regained some freedom after being placed under surveillance by the junta led by Colonel Assimi Goïta. He still refrains from commenting on Malian politics.
The colonels currently in power in Mali are slipping behind schedule, in terms both of organising the referendum and of drafting a new constitution. The junta is set to postpone the vote, initially planned for March, by several months.
The long absence of Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga, who has been forced to rest on health grounds, is causing unrest in Bamako. It is preventing a government reshuffle from taking place, just as the junta leader faces calls for the installation of a government of national unity.
As relations between Bamako and Paris continue to sour, France wants the EU to slap sanctions on several Malian officials seen to be rocking the boat ahead of next year's presidential poll. Meanwhile, ECOWAS is considering similar punitive measures.
Breaking news published on 05/09/21 at 7:40 p.m. - Less than 24 hours after the coup that ousted Alpha Conde, ECOWAS presidents started consulting with each other ahead of an extraordinary summit planned shortly to decide what stance to adopt on Guinea and whether or not to apply sanctions.
The house arrest of former president Bah N'Daw and his prime minister Moctar Ouane continues to rankle in west African capitals. Some ECOWAS figures are also concerned that the presidential elections planned for next February might be postponed.
New interim president Colonel Assimi Goita has dismissed his predecessor Ban N'Daw's key collaborators. He is also preparing a number of "adjustments" in the security services and putting the finishing touches to the team which will be joining him at the Koulouba Palace.
For the past two years, France has been pushing for greater engagement from its fellow European Union members in the Sahel region but could see these efforts scuppered by transitional president Bah N'Daw's forced resignation on 25 May.
The leader of the August 18 putsch that overthrew Ibrahim Boubakar Keita, Col. Assimi Goita, who is now vice-president of the transition prefers to keep well out of the public eye and relies on a group of hand-picked, mostly military, advisors.
Togo's president, who since August has forged close links with putschist officers in Mali, wants to persuade the vice-president of the transitional government, Assimi Goita, to give more leeway to Prime Minister Moctar Ouane. Lomé is set to host the next meeting of the Mali Transition Support Group in February.
Though the visit to Lomé by the president of the transition Bah N'Daw on 13 November was the first by a top Malian official to the country, very close contacts have been nurtured behind the scenes between the leaders of the putsch and Faure Gnassingbé ever since the coup d'état on 18 August.
Umaro Sissoco Embalo was the only foreign head of state to attend the inauguration of Mali's transitional president Bah N'Daw on 25 September. Embalo is trying to strengthen his relationship with Bamako - with Malian businessman Aliou Boubacar Diallo's help.