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Mali: Will Assimi Goïta be able to get out of trouble?

By Fatoumata Diallo
Posted on Monday, 27 December 2021 16:31

Colonel Assimi Goita, leader of two military coups and new interim president, walks during his inauguration ceremony in Bamako
Colonel Assimi Goita, leader of two military coups and new interim president, walks during his inauguration ceremony in Bamako, Mali June 7, 2021. REUTERS/Amadou Keita - RC2QVN9CZI5U

With two months to go before the statutory end of the transition, and the postponement of the elections promised for February 2022, Assimi Goïta no longer has many options. To save his legacy and exit through the front door, the coup colonel must play the role of unifier.

What was Colonel Assimi Goïta thinking on the morning of 7 June, as he swapped his usual fatigues for the uniform of the commander of the Autonomous Special Forces Battalion of the Aguerrissement Centres (BAFS-CA), and took the oath of office as a military leader before the Supreme Court?

Had he then measured the significance of this new function when, with his left hand on the Constitution and his right hand raised to the sky, he swore: “Before God and the Malian people to respect the Constitution and the Transition Charter”? Did he, who had always preferred adventure on the perilous terrain of Mopti to the prestige of power, feel up to the task?