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Former Malian foreign minister Moctar Ouane has been named prime minister by the country's president interim president Bah Ndaw, state television announced on September 27, 2020

Mali Announces New Interim Prime Minister Following Ongoing Protests

Mali has announced former Foreign Minister Moctar Ouane as the country's new interim Prime Minister.

Mali has reportedly announced former foreign minister Moctar Ouane as the country's new interim Prime Minister. This appointment follows two days after retired Colonel Bah Ndaw was sworn in as the country's president and coup leader Colonel Assimi Goita was sworn in as vice president. This government reformation is in response to ECOWAS blocking Mali from trade relations after the ousting of former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August.


Read: Deep Dive: Protest Movements Across the Continent

Mali's challenges are varied. Mali has been experiencing eight years of civil unrest by a separatist group in the North region which is compounded by Jihadist insurgence. Four thousand people have been killed over the unrest since 2016 and millions have been displaced. The country has 18 months with a transitional government to set the ground for democratic rule. The ECOWAS bloc had demanded a civilian leader be installed as a condition for lifting the sanctions with the hope that Oune's appointment would lead to a smoother transition for the country.

Civil unrest in Mali gained momentum after Keita's dissolution of Mali's Constitution in March of this year. Protests by Malians calling for Keita's resignation began shortly after. The country started public demonstrations on June 5th and they increasingly became violent with 11 fatalities recorded in the July 10th anti-government demonstrations. Former Nigerian leader Goodluck Jonathan attempted an intervention with regional body ECOWAS with which Keita met. Despite the intervention and Keita complying with ECOWAS instructions, Mali's military gained public support. The army subsequently sieged Keita's house with military tanks and forced him to resign on August 18th.

A month after the forced resignation of Keita, ECOWAS sanctioned Mali putting pressure on the country to assemble a government body to meet conditions of lifting its sanctions. Oune, is a retired 64-year-old diplomat and has served as Mali's ambassador to the United Nations from 1995 to 2002, afterwards he assumed office as foreign minister from 2004 to 2011.

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Interview: Focalistic’s Blend of Hip-Hop and Amapiano Is Working

South African rapper Focalistic doesn't fixate on genre. He wants you to know his music "is for South Africans, by South Africans that sound South African."

A few weeks before Focalistic's hit single "Ke Star" is announced to have gone gold (it has since gone platinum), a large group of school kids gather around the driver seat of the rapper's sporty BMW. "I realised that people really love him during the shoot of the 'Ke Star' music video," a passer-by says. "It was wild."

Just like today. The same group, which has now grown bigger, waits outside the spot where Focalistic will sit down for an interview. They each want a picture with one of the country's most promising rappers. They have to wait until he's done answering our questions. Asked if he enjoys being mobbed by fans, he says, "It's not like I like it. But it's something you get used to and you understand it. It's love, it's never to irritate."

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The African Union Condemns Violence Against #EndSARS Protesters in Nigeria

The African Union Commission chairperson has (finally) condemned the deadly violence against protesters calling for an end to police brutality in Nigeria. However, many feel the body's declaration is a little too late.