Mali transitional government restores ousted Camara as defence minister

(Corrects 5th and 6th paragraphs to clarify that Colonel Modibo Kone was not given a ministerial post. A civilian with the same name was appointed environment minister.)

BAMAKO (Reuters) -Mali's transitional government announced on Friday it had restored Colonel Sadio Camara as defence minister, after his removal from office was one of the factors that led to a coup that toppled President Bah Ndaw last month.

Camara was one of the leaders of an earlier coup in August last year that ousted then-President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Military officers detained Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane on May 24, hours after they announced a new government that excluded Camara and another colonel involved in the Aug. 2020 coup, Modibo Kone, who had been in charge of security.

The leader of last month's coup, Assimi Goita, was appointed interim president on Monday, with a civilian, Choguel Maiga, named to serve as prime minister. The rest of the Cabinet including Camara was announced on Friday in a decree read out on state television.

The former security minister, Kone, was not included in the new government lineup. Another colonel, Daoud Aly Mohammedine, was appointed security minister.

Another man also named Modibo Kone was appointed environment minister, but a spokesperson for the prime minister's M5-RFP coalition said he is a civilian and is not related to the colonel.

The appointment of the new government could ease tensions with Mali's partners and regional leaders who want the transitional government to press on with elections planned for Feb. 2022.

(Reporting by Paul LorgerieWriting by Bate FelixEditing by Peter Graff)

06/11/2021 18:00

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