BAMAKO, 7 June 2021 – The new leader of the junta in Mali has been sworn in as president at a ceremony Monday in the capital, Bamako.

The event was a formality for Colonel Assimi Goita who declared himself president a fortnight ago after forcing the transitional president and his prime minister to resign.

Mali - Source CGTN Africa

Mali – Source CGTN Africa

Col Assimi Goita During His Swearing In as Vice President - Photo Deutsche Welle

Col Assimi Goita During His Swearing-In as Vice President – Photo Deutsche Welle

The two former officials were arrested and briefly detained in a military base outside Bamako until they both resigned, leaving a vacancy in the country’s top job which Colonel Assimi Goita gladly occupied by declaring himself president.

Mali has witnessed two military coups in under nine months.

Pressure has been building on the junta in Bamako to honor a pre-established calendar set up to ensure the transition back to civilian rule.

Last week, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) joined the African Union (AU) in suspending the membership of Mali to both organizations in protest at what both organizations called unconstitutional government.

Col. Assimi Goita (R) and ECOWAS Envoy Goodluck Jonathan - Photo The Fatou Network

Col. Assimi Goita (R) and ECOWAS Envoy Goodluck Jonathan – Photo The Fatou Network

The AU and ECOWAS have insisted that the junta leaders adhere to an 18-month transition towards presidential elections in February.

France and most Western powers have also insisted on the transition timetable being strictly adhered to.

A Popular Uprising Against Mali's Last Elected President Provided the Excuse for the Military to Seize Power - Photo Deutsche Welle

A Popular Uprising Against Mali’s Last Elected President Provided the Excuse for the Military to Seize Power – Photo Deutsche Welle

Last week, the United States suspended all military cooperation with Mali while France said it would do the same if the junta leaders in Bamako embraced radical Islam.

Troops from Mali and Chad have been instrumental in the fight against a jihadist insurgency that has killed tens of thousands of people and left millions of people displaced across several countries of Africa’s Sahel Region.

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