Mali confirms Ibrahim Keita as new President

imgIbrahim Boubacar Keita has won Mali’s presidential runoff election with 78 per cent of the vote, the government announced yesterday.

The result gives the former prime minister a strong mandate to seek peace with northern separatists and to push for sweeping reforms of the army after a military coup.

Sunday’s vote marked a transition back to democratic rule after the coup in March last year plunged Mali into turmoil, allowing Islamist insurgents to seize the desert north.

A French-led military intervention in January liberated the region.

Mr Keita – whose rival, Soumaila Cisse, had already admitted defeat on Monday – has said his first priority would be to forge a lasting peace with the Tuareg separatist rebels in northern Mali.

Mr Keita also faces huge challenges in reforming the military, tackling widespread corruption and reviving Mali’s ailing economy.


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