Assimi Goïta

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Assimi Goïta
Assimi Goita, August 2021 (cropped).png
Goïta in August 2021
Interim President of Mali
Assumed office
28 May 2021
Prime MinisterChoguel Kokalla Maïga (acting)
Preceded byBah Ndaw (acting)
Vice President of Mali
In office
25 September 2020 – 24 May 2021
PresidentBah Ndaw
Preceded byMalick Diaw
Succeeded byVacant
Chairman of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People of Mali
In office
18 August 2020 – 25 September 2020
Prime MinisterVacant
DeputyMalick Diaw
Preceded byIbrahim Boubacar Keïta (president)
Succeeded byBah Ndaw (acting president)
Personal details
Bornc. 1983 (age 38–39)
Mali
Spouse(s)Lala Diallo
Alma materJoint Military School in Koulikoro
Prytanée militaire de Kati
Military service
Allegiance Mali
Branch/serviceMalian Armed Forces
RankColonel
UnitAutonomous Special Forces Battalion
Battles/warsMali War

Colonel 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 [fr], a military junta that seized power from former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in the 2020 Malian coup d'état.[1] Goïta later took power from Bah Ndaw after the 2021 Malian coup d'état[2] and has since been constitutionally declared interim president of Mali.[3][4]

Biography[edit]

Assimi Goïta was born in 1983.[5] The son of an officer of the Malian Armed Forces,[6] he was trained in the military academies of Mali and notably attended the Prytanée militaire de Kati [fr] and the Joint Military School in Koulikoro.[7] He is married to Lala Diallo, who is a member of the Fula people.[8]

Goïta served as a colonel in the Autonomous Special Forces Battalion, the special forces unit of the Malian Armed Forces.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12][13] 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.[14] On 21 September he was named vice president by a group of 17 electors, with Bah Ndaw being appointed president.[15][14] He was appointed vice president of the Transition on 21 September 2020,[16] a position he will hold for 18 months, until new elections.[14] He took the oath of office on 25 September 2020.[17][18] 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.[19]

Goïta received training from the United States, France, and Germany, and had experience working with United States Army Special Forces.[20]

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.[21][2] 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.[22]

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 "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.[3][4]

Assassination attempt[edit]

On 20 July 2021, during an assassination attempt,[23] Goïta was attacked by a knifeman while praying at the Grand Mosque in Bamako amid festivities for the Eid al-Adha. The attacker was then immediately arrested after failing to stab the President.[24] Overall two men were arrested by the security forces.[25] One of them was however found to be a special forces soldier wrongly assumed to be the attacker's accomplice.[26] The knifeman, identified as a teacher, died in custody five days after the attack. The cause of death is unknown.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "El coronel Assimi Goita, designado nuevo hombre fuerte de Mali tras el golpe" [Colonel Assimi Goita appointed Mali's new strongman after the coup]. efe.com (in Spanish). 19 August 2020. Archived from the original on 20 August 2020. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b Emmanuel Akinwotu (25 May 2021). "Mali: leader of 2020 coup takes power after president's arrest". The Guardian. Lagos, Nigeria. Archived from the original on 24 May 2021. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Mali's top court declares coup leader Goita as interim president". Reuters. 29 May 2021. Archived from the original on 28 May 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Mali vice president named interim leader in coup-within-a-coup". Deutsche Welle. 29 May 2021. Archived from the original on 29 May 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  5. ^ "Qui est Assimi Goïta, le chef de la junte au Mali" [Who is Assimi Goïta, the head of the junta in Mali]. malicanal.com (in French). Archived from the original on 16 September 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  6. ^ "Qui est le colonel Assimi Goïta, à la tête de la junte militaire au Mali?" [Who is Colonel Assimi Goïta, at the head of the military junta in Mali?]. rfi.fr (in French). 21 August 2020. Archived from the original on 16 September 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  7. ^ "Qui est le colonel Assimi Goita, nouvel homme fort du Mali après le putsch militaire?" [Who is Colonel Assimi Goita, Mali's new strongman after the military putsch?] (in French). L'Express. 20 August 2020. Archived from the original on 19 September 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  8. ^ Coulibaly, Justin (6 August 2021). "Epouse du colonel Assimi Goïta, Lala Diallo enflamme la Toile". Afrik.com. Archived from the original on 8 June 2021. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  9. ^ "In Mali, Colonel Assimi Goita is put in charge of the rebels". tellerreport.com. 19 August 2020. Archived from the original on 26 August 2020. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  10. ^ "Coup d'Etat au Mali: l'Afrique de l'Ouest se penche sur une situation "grave"" [Coup d'Etat in Mali: West Africa looks into a "serious" situation] (in French). Le Point. 20 August 2020. Archived from the original on 20 September 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  11. ^ "Mamady Doumbouya: Guinea coup leader sworn in as president". BBC News. October 2021.
  12. ^ Maclean, Ruth; Peltier, Elian (19 August 2020). "Mali Coup Leaders Pledge Democracy After Deposing President". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 19 August 2020. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  13. ^ Hashmi, Faizan (19 August 2020). "Mali Rebels Choose Col. Assimi Goita As Leader - Reports". UrduPoint. Archived from the original on 23 August 2020. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  14. ^ a b c "Ex-defence minister appointed Mali interim president, junta leader named VP". France 24. 21 September 2020. Archived from the original on 9 May 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  15. ^ "Bah Ndaw named Mali's interim president, colonel named VP". Al Jazeera. 21 September 2020. Archived from the original on 22 September 2020.
  16. ^ "Mali: l'ex-ministre de la Défense Bah N'Daw désigné président de transition" [Mali: former Minister of Defense Bah N'Daw appointed transitional president] (in French). RFI. 21 September 2020. Archived from the original on 29 January 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  17. ^ "Mali: un ancien ministre de la Défense désigné président de transition du Mali" [Mali: a former Minister of Defense appointed transitional president of Mali]. french.china.org.cn (in French). 22 September 2020. Archived from the original on 21 July 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  18. ^ "Mali: le président de la transition, Bah N'Daw, a prêté serment" [Mali: the president of the transition, Bah N'Daw, is sworn in] (in French). RFI. 25 September 2020. Archived from the original on 28 October 2020. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  19. ^ "Au Mali, des militaires aux postes-clés du gouvernement de transition" [In Mali, soldiers in key positions in the transitional government] (in French). Le Monde. 6 October 2020. Archived from the original on 30 April 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  20. ^ Paquette, Danielle (21 August 2020). "Mali coup leader was trained by U.S. military, officers say". msn.com. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 22 August 2020. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  21. ^ Ogunkeye, Erin (25 May 2021). "Mali junta leader says transitional president, PM have been stripped of duties". France 24. Archived from the original on 25 May 2021. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  22. ^ "Mali transitional government restores ousted Camara as defence minister". Reuters. 12 June 2021. Archived from the original on 21 July 2021. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  23. ^ "Mali says President Assimi Goita survives assassination attempt". Deutsche Welle. 20 July 2021. Archived from the original on 20 July 2021. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  24. ^ "Mali's interim president Goïta doing 'very well' after assassination attempt". France 24, Agence France-Presse. France 24. 20 July 2021. Archived from the original on 20 July 2021. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  25. ^ Diallo, Tiemoko; Lorgerie, Paul; Felix, Bate; Ba, Diadie; Inveen, Cooper (20 July 2021). "Mali leader says he was unharmed in 'isolated action' knife attack". Reuters. Archived from the original on 20 July 2021. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  26. ^ Diallo, Fatoumata; Laplace, Manon (23 July 2021). "Mali: An investigation into head of state Assimi Goïta's attempted assassination". The Africa Report. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  27. ^ "Man accused of trying to kill Mali president dies in custody". Agence France-Presse. Al Jazeera. 26 July 2021.
Political offices
Preceded byas President of Mali Chairman of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People of Mali
2020
Succeeded byas Interim President of Mali