Mali transitional government restores ousted Camara as defence minister

Colonel Assimi Goita, leader of two military coups and new interim president, walks during his inauguration ceremony in Bamako on Mali June 7, 2021. Col. Sadio Camara was one of the leaders of an earlier coup in August last year that ousted then-President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
Colonel Assimi Goita, leader of two military coups and new interim president, walks during his inauguration ceremony in Bamako on Mali June 7, 2021. Col. Sadio Camara was one of the leaders of an earlier coup in August last year that ousted then-President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
Image: REUTERS/Amadou Keita

Mali's transitional government announced on Friday it had restored Colonel Sadio Camara as defence minister, after his removal from office was one of the factors that led to a coup that toppled President Bah Ndaw last month.

Camara was one of the leaders of an earlier coup in August last year that ousted then-President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Military officers detained Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane on May 24, hours after they announced a new government that excluded Camara and another colonel involved in the Aug. 2020 coup, Modibo Kone, who had been in charge of security.

The appointment of the new government could ease tensions with Mali's partners and regional leaders who, along with military allies like France and the United States, want the transitional government to press on with elections planned for February next year.

The leader of last month's coup, Assimi Goita, was appointed interim president on Monday, with a civilian, Choguel Maiga, named as prime minister. Other powerful positions in the cabinet are filled by Goita's military allies, except for the minister of justice.

The former security minister, Kone, was not included in the new government lineup. Another colonel, Daoud Aly Mohammedine, was appointed security minister, according to a decree read out on state television.

Another man also named Modibo Kone was appointed environment minister. A spokesperson for the prime minister's M5-RFP coalition said he was not related to the colonel.

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