Assimi Goita, twice putschist and president of Mali

Unknown to the battalion a year ago, Assimi Goïta rose through the ranks of power in no time: from a double putschist colonel, he was, at 38, propelled as head of state. A function of “President of the transition to lead the transition process to its end », assured Friday May 28 the Malian Constitutional Court. But difficult to know the motivations of the man who led two coups d’état in less than a year. Hidden behind his military neck warmer, Colonel Goïta is not verbose.

After overthrowing President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in August 2020, he was appointed vice-president but he assured, under international pressure, to give up occupying the chair of president in the event of the impediment of the one who was then appointed to ensure the civil transition . On May 24, the cards are reshuffled.

He overthrows President Bah N’Daw and his Prime Minister, Moctar Ouane. Reason: the latter, thus seeking to “Sabotage the transition”, would not have consulted him to form a new government, ousting two of his relatives, Sadio Camara and Modibo Koné, two colonels who until then occupied the ministries of defense and security.

A trained soldier

Assimi Goïta is not a fine diplomat. He’s a man of war. Evidenced by his military assignments in Gao, Kidal, Timbuktu, Ménaka and Tessalit in the north of the country, where he fought the independence rebels, then the jihadists. The former Special Forces Battalion Commander does not speak much.

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“He has recognition from at least some of his peers. It remains to be seen whether this will be the case for all the military in the country… The appointment of his government will allow us to know more ”, notes, doubtfully, Caroline Roussy, researcher at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (Iris) and head of the Africa program.

The question of the turn of his future government remains uncertain. “Some people seem to resign themselves to an Islamic republic and reconciliation with possible local terrorists, emphasizes the researcher. Some advance the possibility of a war. Great confusion hangs over the country. “

Diplomatic tour

Newly appointed head of Mali, Assimi Goïta traveled this weekend to Accra, Ghana, to meet his African counterparts at an exceptional summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) devoted… to Mali.

A few hours before being appointed head of state, he declared that he had chosen “Between the stability of Mali and the chaos (…), stability because it is in the best interests of the nation. We have no other hidden agenda ”.


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