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Mali Gets a Prime Minister, But No Democracy

Mali once again has a prime minister after yesterday’s arrest and resignation (or resignation and arrest, depending on whom you ask) of Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra. Interim President Dioncounda Traore appointed Sissoko as Mali’s new prime minister within 24 hours of the resignation.

But those hoping for a return to democracy in Mali are likely to be disappointed. BBC News has the story:

Mr Traore had promised to appoint a civilian successor to Mr Diarra within 24 hours, but it is uncertain whether the naming of Mr Sissoko will be enough to satisfy international calls for a return to democracy.

The United Nations had threatened to impose sanctions over Monday’s arrest and the Security Council said it was ready to take “appropriate measures” against those who undermined Mali’s stability.

“The members of the Security Council express their readiness to consider appropriate measures, including targeted sanctions, against those who prevent the restoration of the constitutional order and take actions that undermine stability in Mali,” the council said in a statement.

To assuage the UN’s fears, Captain Amadou Sanogo, who spearheaded both the arrest and the March coup has clarified that Diarra’s resignation was not forced but was rather “facilitated” by police action. Well, that’s a relief.

It was only a few years ago that Africa optimists were holding up Mali as a shining example of democracy. How quickly times change.

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