Mali appoints more army officers to govern regions after coup

by Reuters
Thursday, 26 November 2020 15:29 GMT

BAMAKO, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Senior military figures in Mali have been named governors of 10 regions, alarming some political factions who say the army is retaining too much power following an August coup.

After the ouster of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on Aug. 18, hopes of a civilian-led transition were dashed by the appointment of the junta's leader as vice president, while retired colonel Bah Ndaw became president.

As a result of the latest appointments, 13 out of Mali's 20 regions will be governed by military officers, according to a government statement late on Wednesday.

"They are militarising the country instead of stabilising it. This is not what we expected of them, it is not acceptable," said Nouhoum Togo, spokesman for the M5-RFP coalition of opposition groups that led mass protests before the coup.

Mali faces a worsening security crisis spurred by militant groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State, which have grown stronger in recent years and made vast swathes of the country ungovernable.

In October, interim Prime Minister Moctar Ouane - who has a civilian background - said he was open to talks with the militants, but former colonial power France signalled opposition to the idea. (Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Tom Brown)

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