Several presidents from Africa and elsewhere have arrived in the Malian capital Bamako to participate in the swearing-in ceremony of newly elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
The presidential inauguration is set to take place on Thursday at the March 26 Stadium in Bamako.
Among the African presidents to attend the ceremony are Denis Sassou N’Guesso of the Republic of Congo, Idriss Deby Itno of Chad, Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, Mohamed Moncef Marzouki of Tunisia and Alpha Conde of Guinea.
King Mohamed VI of Morocco also arrived Wednesday evening. A source close to the Malian Presidency said this is the first time that King Mohamed VI is participating in a swearing-in ceremony of an African president.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s special envoy Wang Zhengwei will attend the swearing-in ceremony at the invitation of Malian President Keita, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Other prominent personalities in Bamako include Guinea Bissau’s Prime Minister Rui Duarte Barros, ex-German president Horst Kohler and the chairman of the of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo.
French President Francois Hollande and Cote d’Ivoire’s President Alassane Ouattara, who are expected to arrive in Bamako on Thursday, as well as the Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno and Morocco’s king, will give speeches during the ceremony, according to the official arrangement.