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Mali’s former premier Cheick Modibo Diarra (left) with his successor and replacement Prime Minister Diango Cissoko during a press conference to announce the official handover of power between the two, in Bamako, yesterday.
BAMAKO: Mali’s new Prime Minister Diango Cissoko vowed yesterday to have a working government in place by next week following the ouster of Cheick Modibo Diarra which sparked international condemnation.
Diarra formally handed over power to Cissoko amid uncertainty over the deployment of a foreign intervention force in the north where Islamic hardliners seized control and imposed Shariah law following a March coup.
“From next week we will have an operational government team,” said Cissoko, a veteran civil servant appointed on Tuesday to replace Diarra.
Diarra is seen as having been strongarmed into resigning by influential former coup leader Amadou Sanogo who has described the ex-premier as an “obstacle”.
Astrophysicist turned politician Diarra had not appeared in public since announcing his resignation on Tuesday after being seized by soldiers and later placed under house arrest.
“All that I have come to do is to ask my colleagues to give (Cissoko) their support because in reality we are not working for men anymore, we are working for the Republic,” Diarra said after the handover.
“That is what is most important. That our loyalty be towards the Republic and the person who is representing this Republic, and today that is Mr Cissoko.”
While the international community has denounced the manner in which Diarra resigned, many are hopeful a new government will give renewed momentum to the country’s transition following the coup.
“The priorities of the transition have not changed,” Cissoko added, referring to the organisation of elections and wresting back control of northern Mali from the Islamic hardliners.
The international community is also hoping stability in Bamako will ease the deployment of the foreign intervention force in the north. AFP