Mali: a president of the transition, what for?

The head of the Malian junta, Colonel Assimi Goita, takes the vice-presidency of the transitional government.


Text by: RFI Follow

4 min

The heads of state of the region had given until Tuesday, September 22 to the Malian junta to announce a civilian president and prime minister.

It is ultimately a personality with a double hat who was chosen: Bah N'Daw, a former army colonel major now retired, also served as Minister of Defense.

The vice-presidency goes to the head of the junta which overthrew IBK, Colonel Assimi Goïta.

How to explain these choices?

Will they allow the lifting of the sanctions imposed by ECOWAS after the coup?


Read more

With our correspondent in Bamako,

Serge Daniel

and our special


in Bamako,

Florence Morice

The Malian soldiers had several plans.

Plan A, Colonel Assémi Goïta, head of the junta, at the head of the transition.

But the economic community of West African States (ECOWAS) was

firm on the principle of a civilian president

to lead the transition, and not a soldier.

The international community was of the same opinion.

Then, schoolbags, plan B comes out: a retired soldier, who is therefore a civilian.

The hypothesis came up frequently in conversations in recent days in Bamako.

It had even been clearly mentioned in Accra during the meeting between the junta and ECOWAS, which had not opposed such a scenario.

For the military, it has a


advantage: " 

Getting around the obstacle, by satisfying everyone



said analyst Étienne Fakaba Sissoko from the University of Bamako.

In other words, to satisfy the ECOWAS, which requires a civil transition, as well as the dissolution of the junta from the start of this transition, " 

all without losing control


Straight man, upright, patriot


Therefore, several names are circulating.

But in reality, explains to RFI, a collaborator of the boss of the junta, for Plan B, from the start, it was Colonel Major Bah N'Daw who always held the rope.

Discreetly, emissaries went to see him, and he had already given his consent.

It is true that he was the ephemeral defense minister of President Ibrahim Boubakar Keita, but he is not a man of the system, indicates our interlocutor.

According to another source within the junta, " 

Bah N'Daw is a straight man, upright, patriotic, who does not have his hands soaked in shenanigans


In the army, a discreet poll would indicate that he is the man for the job, accepted by the troops.

Let us add that according to our information, members of the junta are more comfortable with him, while they have very little confidence in a very large part of the Malian political class.

The unknowns: roles and position of the M5

However, there are still many unknowns: especially on the division of roles between the presidency and the vice-presidency, which falls to Colonel Assimi Goita, head of the junta.

The transition charter as presented last Tuesday to ECOWAS, gave it prerogatives deemed " 


 ": defense, security, but also re-foundation of the State.

An attribution which in the eyes of the heads of state of the sub-region should go to the president.

They therefore demanded that the charter be reviewed on this point, and that this vice-president could not replace the president if he was unable to attend.

Has the charter been amended in this sense?

No answer for the moment.

Much should also depend on the choice of the Prime Minister, not yet appointed, and the allocation of key positions in the government.

Without forgetting the unknown that the declaration of the M5 movement poses on Monday evening.

The coalition assures that it did not participate in the process of appointing the new president and believes that in the current state of affairs, the choice of Bah N'Daw " 

only commits the junta


To read also: Who is Bah N'Daw, the new transitional president of Mali?


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