Government reshuffle follows conclusion of UN peace mission in Mali


In a move that underscores ongoing political changes in Mali, the junta has implemented a partial government reshuffle just one day after officially ending the United Nations peace mission in the country. The reshuffling took place on Saturday, following a referendum held eight days prior, where a majority of Malians showed support for the proposed constitution.

While some key positions have remained unchanged, the government has witnessed significant changes with the appointment of 16 individuals, including 13 ministers and three swaps. Notably, a representative from the Coordination des mouvements de l’Azawad (CMA), the primary alliance of former rebels in the northern region, has decided to step down from the government. This departure comes at a time of heightened tensions between the junta and the CMA.

One notable addition to the government is Colonel Assa Badiallo Touré, a military officer who will be serving in the Ministry of Health and Social Development. This appointment highlights the military’s increasing influence within the governing body.

The draft Constitution received overwhelming support from Malians, with 97% of votes in favor. However, the plebiscite faced challenges in several central and northern areas due to fears of jihadist attacks and political disagreements. Critics argue that the draft has been tailored to prolong the junta’s grip on power beyond the scheduled presidential elections in February 2024, contradicting their initial commitments.

The referendum marks the first electoral event since the military coup d’état in August 2020, which led to the junta assuming control of Mali. Since then, the junta has largely governed unopposed in a country grappling with jihadist threats, as well as security, political, and economic crises.

One of the contentious provisions in the Constitutional reform is the inclusion of an amnesty for individuals involved in previous coup d’état incidents, leading to speculation about the potential presidential candidacy of Colonel Assimi Goïta. As the political landscape in Mali continues to evolve, the impact of these changes on the country’s stability and future governance remains uncertain.

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