Bamako - Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on Sunday
revealed his new cabinet, tasked with reviving the West African nation
following a turbulent 18 months that saw a coup and a rebellion plunge the gold
exporter into crisis.
The announcement of the make-up of the 34-member cabinet on
state television follows the nomination of Oumar Tatam Ly, a technocrat and
senior official with the regional BCEAO central bank, as prime minister last
Keita, who pledged to put technical competence ahead of
party affiliation, included only one of the 22 first-round presidential
candidates who supported him in the 11 August run-off which he won with 78% of
Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga was named defence minister, having
held the position under President Alpha Oumar Konare. Bouare Fily Sissoko, a
former World Bank official, will serve as finance minister. And Zahaby Ould
Sidy Mohamed, an Arab from the north and senior figure in a 1990s rebellion,
was named foreign minister.
Boubou Cisse, a World Bank economist, will head Mali's
Mali was long praised for its stability while other West
Africa states were embroiled in civil wars or post-election violence.
But last year's troubles led former colonial master France
to deploy thousands of troops to fight al Qaeda-linked rebels, underscoring the
weakness of a democracy long undermined by corruption, nepotism and the lack of
The cabinet announced on Sunday replaces a transitional
authority established to lead Mali to presidential elections seen as a
necessary step to restoring democratic order and unlocking billions of dollars
in foreign aid.
Keita retained a number of ministers from the transitional
Two of them - Territorial Administration Minister Moussa
Sinko Coulibaly and Transport Minister Abdoulaye Koumare - were part of a
military junta that overthrew president Amadou Toumani Toure in March last
The coup allowed the rebels to launch a lightning advance
and seize the desert north.