Mali PM re-instated, ordered to form new govt

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Mali's reappointed Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga. (File, AFP)
Mali's reappointed Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga. (File, AFP)

Mali's president has reappointed Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga and ordered him to form a new government, a statement from the presidency said on Wednesday.

Maiga is a close ally to President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was re-elected in hard-fought August polls, and has previously advocated national reconciliation and moves to disarm militias in the conflict-hit country.

The president "renewed him in his duties", the statement said.

Maiga, a former defence minister who was first appointed in December 2017, is considered a strategist and thought to have played a key role in Keita's re-election.

The president won 67% of the vote against runner-up Soumaila Cisse, a former finance minister, who scored nearly 33% in a runoff on August 12.

Keita, who was sworn in for his new 5-year term on Tuesday, has faced fierce criticism of failures to tackle jihadist violence and ethnic tensions that have rocked the poor Sahel state.

He used his swearing-in ceremony to vow to restore peace to the troubled north, hours after a UN peacekeeper was injured in a jihadist rocket attack in the region.

"I will be implacable against all those who affront our values of freedom and tolerance," Keita, 73, said.

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