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Mali strongman vows to honour poll commitments

Assimi Goita was sworn in as President

Malian strongman Colonel Assimi Goita vowed to honour his country’s commitments and reaffirmed the goal of staging elections by next February as he was sworn in as transitional President on Monday following his second coup in less than a year.

The ceremony in Bamako came after Col. Goita, who headed a coup last August, ousted the civilian President and Prime Minister of a transitional government on May 24.

In doing so, he sparked diplomatic uproar and deepened fears of chaos in a country key to efforts to stem the jihadist insurgency sweeping the Sahel.

“I swear before God and the Malian people to preserve the republican regime… to preserve democratic gains,” said Col. Goita.

“I would like to reassure sub-regional, regional organisations and the wider international community that Mali will uphold all its commitments,” the coup leader said.

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