President of Mali

Assimi Goïta, President of Mali (since May 28, 2021)

Assimi Goïta, President of SomaliaColonel Assimi Goïta (born c. 1983) is a Malian military officer who has been serving as interim President of Mali since 28 May 2021. Goïta was the leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, a military junta that seized power from former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in the 2020 Malian coup d’état. Goïta later took power from Bah Ndaw after the 2021 Malian coup d’état and has since been constitutionally declared interim president of Mali.

Assimi Goïta was born in 1983. The son of an officer of the Malian Armed Forces, he was trained in the military academies of Mali and notably attended the Prytanée militaire de Kati and the Joint Military School in Koulikoro.He is married to Lala Diallo, who is a member of the Fula people.

Goïta served as a colonel in the Autonomous Special Forces Battalion, the special forces unit of the Malian Armed Forces. He heads the Malian special forces in the center of the country with the rank of colonel. He is thus confronted with the jihadist insurgency in Mali. In 2018, he met Mamady Doumbouya, from Guinea, in Burkina Faso during a training session organised by the US army, which was reserved for the region’s special forces commanders. Both he and Mamady Doumbouya would later launch military coups against their governments.

Goïta serves as the leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, a group of rebels who overthrew Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in the 2020 Malian coup d’état, and have pledged to initiate new elections to replace him. Because of this pledge, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) pressured Mali’s ruling junta for the country to be led by a civilian. On 21 September he was named vice president by a group of 17 electors, with Bah Ndaw being appointed president. He was appointed vice president of the Transition on 21 September 2020, a position he will hold for 18 months, until new elections. He took the oath of office on 25 September 2020.On 1 October 2020, the “Mali Transition Letter” was published where it was specified, in response to the request of the ECOWAS, that the vice president “in charge of defense and security issues” would not be able to replace President Bah Ndaw.

Goïta received training from the United States, France, and Germany, and had experience working with United States Army Special Forces.

On 24 May 2021, Goïta was involved in the 2021 Malian coup d’état, after which he seized power. President Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane were detained. Goïta claimed that Ndaw was attempting to “sabotage” the transition to democracy, and committed to elections in 2022. The coup was instigated by Goïta’s claim that Ndaw failed to consult him about a cabinet reshuffle. It was alleged that one of the motives for the latest coup was the removal of Colonel Sadio Camara as defense minister. Camara was appointed again as defense minister by Goïta upon taking over again.

On 28 May 2021, the constitutional court declared him interim president of Mali. The court ruling stated that Goïta should carry the title “president of the transition, head of state” to “to lead the transition process to its conclusion”. On the same day, he said that he would name a prime minister from the M5-RFP coalition.


Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Former President of Mali (since Sept 4, 2013)

Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of Mali (since Sept 4, 2013)Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (born January 29, 1945), or as he is often known IBK, is a Malian politician who has been President of Mali since 2013. Previously he was Prime Minister of Mali from 1994 to 2000 and President of the National Assembly of Mali from 2002 to 2007. He founded a political party, Rally for Mali (RPM), in 2001, and he has led the party since then. He was elected as President in the July–August 2013 presidential election and sworn in on 4 September 2013.

Early life
Keïta was born in Koutiala, Mali. He studied at the Lycée Janson-de-Sailly in Paris and Lycée Askia-Mohamed in Bamako, continuing his education at the University of Dakar, the University of Paris I and the Institut d’Histoire des Relations Internationales Contemporaines (IHRIC; Institute of the Modern History of International Relations). He has a Master’s degree in History and an additional graduate degree in Political Science and International Relations.

After his studies, he was a researcher at the CNRS and taught courses on Third World politics at the University of Paris I. Returning to Mali, he became a technical consultant for the European Development Fund, putting together the first small-scale development program for the European Union’s aid activities in Mali. He went on to become Mali director for the French chapter of Terre des Hommes, an international NGO aiding children in the developing world.

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Amadou Toumani Touré, Former President of Mali (Deposed in a military coup on Mar 22, 2012. Capt. Dioncounda Traoré becomes Interim President)

Amadou Toumani Touré, President of Mali

Born Amadou Toumani Toure c. 1948 in Mpoti, Mali.

Education: Received training as history and geography teacher in Bamako, graduated 1969; attended Ecole Militaire Interarmes, 1969-72; received further military training in Riazan, Soviet Union and Pau, France; attended Ecole Superieur de Guerre, Paris, 1990.

Politics: Supporter of constitutional democracy.

Armed forces of Mali, lieutenant, 1972-78; 33rd parachute battalion, captain, 1978-84, became commander of battalion, 1985-90; promoted to lieutenant colonel, 1986; served as commander of the presidential guard for eight years, c. 1978-86; acting Head of State, Transition Committee for the Salvation of the People, 1991-92; oversaw Mali’s Guinea Worm Eradication Program, 1992; member of facilitators to regional initiative on Rwanda and Burundi, 1996; head of International Follow-Up Committee on peace in the Central African Republic, 1997; head of Inter-African Mission to Monitor the Implementation of the Bangui Agreements, 1997-.

Life’s Work

Approachable, modest, soft-spoken, and avuncular are not terms that usually describe the leaders of military coups. However, these words are often associated with Amadou Toure, an officer in the West African nation of Mali who led a rebellion that ousted longtime dictator Moussa Traore in 1991. Known affectionately as “ATT,” Toure was popular as a revolutionary, popular as an interim president, and remains popular as a regional diplomat on a mission of peace throughout central Africa.
Toure was born in either 1943 or 1948 in Mpoti, Mali. After receiving his early education at local schools, he moved to Mali’s capital, Bamako, to receive training as a history and geography teacher. After graduating in 1969, Toure decided to embark on a military career rather than become a schoolteacher. He entered the Ecole Militaire Interarmes, a military academy in Kati, from which he graduated in 1972 as a lieutenant. Toure became a parachute instructor. Following further specialized training in Riazan in the former Soviet Union and in Pau, France, he was promoted to captain of the 33rd Parachute Battalion in 1978.

Toure’s rise through the ranks of the Malian military continued into the 1980s. He served for eight years as commander of the Presidential Guard. In 1986, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. In April of 1990, Toure was sent for advanced military training to the Ecole Superieur de Guerre, a special war school in Paris, and remained there until December. Expecting a better job upon his return, Toure was disappointed when he was not immediately offered a promotion. After a few months, he was called upon to command his former battalion. This treatment embittered Toure and contributed to his growing dissatisfaction with the Malian government.

In the meantime, the Malian people were also tiring of dictator Moussa Traore’s oppressive regime. What began as peaceful protests throughout the country began to erupt into violent clashes between civilians and members of the armed forces. These clashes resulted in the deaths of hundreds of protesters. By early 1991, Toure’s loyalties had shifted away from Traore completely. He was quoted in Who’s Who in Africa: Leaders for the 1990s as saying that he was “really ashamed of being an army officer.” Toure also explained that “Moussa no longer served the interests of the country. He was opportunist, a total nepotist, a flatterer who made huge mistakes.”

In January of 1991, Toure began planning a coup to overthrow Traore, taking advantage of a major protest march in Bamako to begin organizing a strike force. With popular sentiment on his side, Toure was able to convince other senior officers to join him. Following several days of rioting in Bamako by trade unionists, students, and masses of unemployed people, Toure led an uprising that brought down Traore and his government on March 26, 1991. Traore was arrested, and Toure became head of the transitional government of Mali.

Toure’s coup was enthusiastically supported by most Malians. Sensing that the people of Mali did not want another military dictatorship, Toure quickly promised that power would be handed over to a democratically-elected civilian government within one year. A Council of National Reconciliation was formed, comprised of 16 senior officers who had participated in the coup, with Toure as its leader. The Council immediately opened a dialog with the leaders of Mali’s pro-democracy opposition. As Toure told the Reuters news service, “We can’t talk about opposition–we’re working amongst brother Malians. We want everyone to participate in this work of national importance.”

Upon assuming control of the government, Toure moved quickly to address Mali’s many problems, including severe poverty and an ongoing revolt by the Tuareg people in northern Mali. In April of 1992, after months of negotiations, Toure and the Tuareg leaders signed a National Pact that effectively ended the rebellion. In addition, Toure began preparations for turning power over to a civilian government. His transitional government approved a new constitution on January 12, 1992, and within a week, municipal elections were held. Legislative elections took place over the next two months. A presidential election followed in April of 1992, with Alpha Oumar Konare of the Alliance for Democracy in Mali (ADEMA) emerging as the winner. Toure left office on June 8, 1992.

Mali’s transition from a military to a civilian government was astonishingly smooth. Konare, a well-known and charismatic figure, was able to follow Toure into the presidency without a significant loss of public support. Toure, meanwhile, was promoted to the rank of general. Shortly after stepping down as president, he took command of Mali’s Guinea Worm Eradication Program, securing $1 million for the project from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

In addition to his work in Mali, Toure has established himself as an important regional diplomat, taking part in peacemaking efforts throughout Africa. In 1996, he served on a facilitating team created to address a number of regional problems, particularly the ethnic conflicts in Rwanda and Burundi. The team included such high-profile figures as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.

As a member of the Carter Foundation, Toure spearheaded the organization of a peace summit in Tunisia aimed at forging an international solution to the many land disputes within Africa. In 1997, Toure turned his attention to the Central African Republic, where he led the International Follow-Up Committee that successfully negotiated a cease-fire between government and rebel factions there. His work on these “Bangui Agreements” continued into 1998, as he lobbied the United Nations for financial aid that would improve conditions within the Central African Republic.

As interim leader of Mali, Toure proved to be a man of his word and faithfully steered Mali on the path to democracy. His continued efforts to bring peace and stability to Africa’s volatile political landscape are greatly appreciated by Malians and all people of goodwill.