Mali Appoints New President After Military Coup

DAKAR, Senegal — A military officer who helped depose the president of Mali in a coup last month has announced that a retired colonel will lead the West African country as interim president until elections are held in 2022.

Malian soldiers abducted the former president, Boubacar Keïta, and made him resign on state television in August in a coordinated coup that capitalized on a ballooning popular uprising against the government.

Regional leaders from the Economic Community of West African States had tried but failed to mediate talks with the protest movement before the coup. After Mr. Keïta was overthrown on Aug. 18, Ecowas leaders met with the coup plotters in an attempt to limit the period of time before the next elections were held and to insist that a military officer not lead the interim government.

Though the new president, Bah N’Daou, is technically a civilian, he is both a retired military officer and a former defense minister who served under Mr. Keïta. He also served as an aide to Mali’s former military dictator, Moussa Traoré.

Mr. N’Daou’s appointment was announced in a statement on Monday by Col. Assimi Goïta, who was the leader of the coup against Mr. Keïta and who will also serve as Mr. N’Daou’s vice president. Both men were appointed by a group of 17 electors chosen by the coup leaders and will be sworn in on Friday.

The unrest in Mali began in June when a coalition of opposition politicians, religious leaders and civil society groups organized protests against the government in what became known as the June 5 Movement.

Protesters said the government had not done enough to address the corruption and bloodshed that has plagued the country for eight years. Regional and French counterterrorism forces, with American support, have been pulled into Mali as part of a fight against a terrorist insurgency in the vast stretch of land south of the Sahara known as the Sahel.

But the main incitement for the mass demonstrations — which repeatedly pulled tens of thousands of people into the streets — was the perception that Mr. Keïta had altered the results of a legislative election in April.

Security forces in the capital, Bamako, cracked down on the movement in July and several protesters were killed.

Regional leaders have threatened economic sanctions if civilians are not returned to power in Mali.

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