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Mali Junta Names Interim PM

FILE: Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, now named Prime Minister for the Government of Mali. Taken 2.18.2022

Mali's military junta has appointed a colonel, Abdoulaye Maiga, as interim replacement for the country's civilian prime minister, who has been admitted to hospital.

Colonel Maiga's appointment was announced in a decree read on state television late Sunday.

Maiga is also a government spokesman and Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization.

Maiga, who shares the same name as his interim successor, had served several times as minister in previous governments.

He was an unsuccessful candidate in presidential elections in 2002, 2013 and 2018.

He was a founder member of the June 5 Movement -- a coalition that had launched a wave of protests against Mali's elected president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, before he was toppled in 2020.

In recent months, Maiga has come under criticism from many of his former allies for following the junta's line.

His replacement by a colonel means that both of Mali's seniormost government positions are currently in the hands of the military.

Junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita had himself appointed transitional president after the May 2021 coup.