Mali’s Interim President Appoints Moctar Ouane Prime Minister

Mali’s interim President Bah N’Daw appointed the country’s longtime diplomat Moctar Ouane as prime minister on Sunday, according to a copy of the decree.

The move comes two days after the country’s junta handed over power to N’Daw, a retired military officer, as part of efforts to convince West African neighbors to lift sanctions imposed after last month’s coup.

Mali’s Interim President Appoints Moctar Ouane Prime Minister

Ouane, 64, served as foreign affairs minister from 2004 to 2011 and has since then been the country’s delegate to the West African Economic and Monetary Union.

The new leadership faces the uphill task of preparing for elections within 18 months, the timeline imposed by the Economic Community of West African States. The 15-member bloc has taken a hard line against Mali since the putsch, shutting borders and halting financial flows.

The sanctions are expected to be lifted now that a civilian prime minister has been named.

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