Mali's transitional president and the dissolution of the transitional military junta

The international community, particularly ECOWAS, expressed concern that the National Committee for the Health of the Population had still not been dissolved at the beginning of January
Fotografia de archivo, el presidente interino de Malí, Bah Ndaw, asiste a la ceremonia de investidura con el nuevo vicepresidente maliense, el coronel Assimi Goita, en Bamako, Malí, el 25 de septiembre de 2020 

REUTERS/AMADOU KEITA  -   Acting President of Mali Bah Ndaw attends the inauguration ceremony with the new Vice President of Mali, Colonel Assimi Goita, in Bamako, Mali on 25 September 2020. 

The National Committee for Popular Health (CNSP) was created in Mali after the August 2020 coup d'état. President Bah N'Daw decreed the dissolution of this military junta on 18 January, although the information has only been known for a few days. After the dissolution of the junta, President N'Daw was received at the Elysée Palace by Emmanuel Macron. 

AFP/LUDOVIC MARIN -El presidente francés, Emmanuel Macron, con el presidente de transición de Malí, Bah Ndaw, en el Palacio presidencial del Elíseo el 27 de enero de 2021 
AFP/LUDOVIC MARIN - French President Emmanuel Macron with Mali's interim president Bah Ndaw at the presidential palace of the Elysée on January 27, 2021. 

According to the constitution established by the transitional military junta when it came to power, it should have been dissolved when the transitional governing bodies were formed. These bodies include the transitional government, headed by Bah N'Daw as president and Assimi Goïta as vice-president, who were appointed in September, and the National Transitional Council (CNT), the body that exercises the functions of the legislature, which was formed in December last year.

AFP/ MICHELE CATTANI -El general Oumarou Namata Gazama, jefe de la fuerza conjunta G5 Sahel, asiste a la inauguración del nuevo cuartel general en Bamako el 3 de junio de 2020 
AFP/ MICHELE CATTANI - General Oumarou Namata Gazama, head of the G5 joint force for the Sahel, attends the inauguration of the new headquarters in Bamako on June 3, 2020.

Although the dissolution of the military junta is a matter of time, the international community, particularly ECOWAS, is concerned that the CNT has still not been dissolved by early January. Although the junta was dissolved a few days later, many of its members have been integrated into different organs of the transitional government. For example, Colonel Goïta, who was previously the head of the CNSP, is now the president in charge of security and defence. There are other examples among the military officers who led the coup, all of whom are in positions of power in this theoretically civilian government. In addition to this high level in Bamako, other military officers have been placed as governors of certain regions of Mali. These positions were previously occupied mainly by civilians and were theoretically to be filled by decision-makers chosen by political representatives, as indicated in the December 2020 report on the implementation of the 2015 peace and reconciliation agreements published by the Carter Center's Independent Observer. After the coup, ECOWAS called on the Malian government to hold elections within 14 months. Once the junta is dissolved, the Malian government will have to call elections and hold them before the end of this year, although it is estimated that due to the delays of the pandemic, they will most likely take place by 2022.  

AFP/AFP -Mapa que localiza los puestos de mando y los despliegues de la Fuerza Conjunta G5 Sahel 
AFP/AFP - Map locating the command posts and deployments of the G5 Sahel joint force

In addition to these political challenges, Mali faces a serious security problem. Despite the presence of many international forces, such as the G5 Sahel, the French operation Barkhane, EU and UN training operations, the number of jihadist groups and attacks has increased over the last eight years, stretching from northern Mali to the whole country, with attacks on the borders of Côte d'Ivoire and as far as Senegal. In contrast, the Liptako Gourma region, on the border between Niger and Burkina Faso, has the highest concentration of jihadist activity in the entire Sahel. Since the eruption of jihadism in central Mali, there has also been an increase in inter-community violence between the different ethnic groups that coexist in the region.  

AFP/ MICHELE CATTANI -En esta foto de archivo tomada el 12 de noviembre de 2019 soldados del Ejército de Burkina Faso participan en ejercicios de tiro durante una operación conjunta con el Ejército francés
AFP/ MICHELE CATTANI - In this file photo taken November 12, 2019 Soldiers of the army of Burkina Faso participate in shooting exercises during a joint operation with the French army.

The G5 Sahel summit will be held in N'Djamena on 15-16 February. At the last summit in Pau, Emanuel Macron increased the number of troops on the ground from 4,500 to 5,100, with a large part of these efforts going to the Lipkato Gourma region. Since French Defence Minister Florence Parly announced that the number of troops on the ground would be reduced, there has been speculation about what will happen at the upcoming summit next week. President Bah N'Daw's visit to France reaffirms France's continued commitment to strengthening security and increasing stability in the country. Still, in addition to jihadism, Mali faces a crisis of social cohesion, the ravages of the pandemic and a complicated post-coup transition.