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Lifting of Mali sanctions depends on appointment of civilian PM: ECOWAS

The lifting of sanctions against Mali following the seizure of power by mutinous soldiers depends on the appointment of a civilian prime minister, heads of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) mission announced Friday after the inauguration of the Malian transitional president.

According to the president of ECOWAS Commission Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, the mission aknowleged the appointment of Bah N’Daw, saying the sanctions would be lifted when a civilian prime minister should be appointed.

“ECOWAS has no problems with the military serving in the future transitional government,” said Goodluck Jonathan, mediator of the sub-regional organization in the Malian political crisis.

The former Nigerian president said that ECOWAS would not dictate to Malians how the country is going to be run, but “an international model” would be preferred.

For Brou, the purpose of the mission was to assess the progress made towards a return to normal in Mali.

“During this mission, the delegation was very concerned about civilians and soldiers of the old regime,” he said.

Arriving in Bamako on Wednesday to follow up on ECOWAS recommendations on Mali’s political transition, Goodluck Jonathan’s delegation was able to visit former Prime Minister Boubou Cisse and former President of the National Assembly Moussa Timbine, still detained in the military camp in Kati, without succeeding in obtaining their immediate release.

Mali’s transitional president Bah N’Daw and his vice president Colonel Assimi Goita were sworn in on Friday.

According to the Transition Charter adopted by some 500 representatives of Mali’s political forces, the transitional president must appoint a prime minister to form a transitional government, composed of a maximum of 25 members.

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