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Malians must unite, says new PM

12 December 2012, 09:36

Bamako - Mali's new Prime Minister Diango Cissoko told AFP late on Tuesday that his priorities are to regain control of the north from Islamists and organise a general election in the troubled west African nation.

"The priority is the recovery of the north and the organisation of elections.... I want to create a government of national unity," he said following his appointment in place of Cheick Modibo Diarra, who quit on Tuesday under military pressure.

"I want to tell Malians that they must get together, because it's only a unified people that can confront their problems."

Interim president Dioncounda Traore appointed Cissoko - a veteran public servant who latterly served as ombudsman - just hours after Diarra was forced out.

Diarra quit after being arrested by soldiers on orders from former coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo, a move swiftly condemned by the UN and United States.

The UN Security council joined calls from France, the United States, the European Union and regional bloc Ecowas for the military to stop meddling in political affairs, and threatened targeted sanctions against those preventing the restoration of constitutional order.



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