Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita named ex-Finance Minister Boubou Cisse as the new prime minister after the former head of government resigned over his failure to curb a surge in militant attacks.
The announcement to appoint the 44-year-old Cisse, who has served as the finance and economy minister since 2016, was read Monday on state-television Office de Radiodiffusion Television du Mali. Cisse previously worked as an economist at The World Bank Group and later as the Washington-based lender’s country representative in Niger and Nigeria.
His predecessor, Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, stepped downApril 19 after facing growing criticism for his administration’s failure to halt frequent attacks by Islamist militants and ethnic militias.
Mali has been engulfed in conflict since a loose alliance of ethnic Tuareg separatists and Islamist fighters with ties to Algeria and Libya seized large swathes of the north in 2012. A French military intervention succeeded in pushing back the insurgents a year later, but al-Qaeda-linked militants are now encroaching on Mali’s more densely populated central region and increasing tension between local communities.
Last month, gunmen killed at least 157 people in a village in central Mali in one of the deadliest attacks the country has experienced in years. The attack was followed by protests in the capital, Bamako, with thousands calling for the government to find a solution to the crisis or to step down.