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French, Ivorian Leaders Meet Amid Poll Row

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French, Ivorian Leaders Meet Amid Poll Row

French president Emmanuel Macron is due to meet with Ivory Coast leader, Alassane Ouattara, today, Friday in Paris over Outtara`s re-election bid and his third term agenda that has been described by opposition as unconstitutional.

Ouattara had initially ruled out running for re-election but then changed his mind. His decision to run for a third term in October’s election has sparked tension and protests in the country.

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Macron has repeatedly said he wants to break from the past in which France often seemed to call the shots in its former colonies and said it was time for older generations to hand over to Africa’s younger politicians.

In march, macron had welcomed 78-year-old Ouattara’s initial decision not to run again, calling him a “man of his word.”  Outtara nominated prime minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, as the preferred successor, but Coulibaly later suddenly died. This led to the Ivory Coast leader’s decision to contest in the poll. Macron and his government have yet to react publicly.

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Tensions have been mounting in recent weeks with some clashes taking place between police and protesters since Ouattara announced his decision.

A French diplomatic source said, “France’s primary concern is that this election takes place impartially in a calm climate and with all the country’s political forces.

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Bah Ndaw Sworn In As Mali’s Transitional President Following Coup

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Bah Ndaw Sworn In As Mali’s Transitional President Following Coup

Mali’s new interim president Bah Nda`w has been sworn into office today, Friday at a ceremony in the nation`s capital, Bamako.  The former defence minister and retired army colonel was picked by coup leader, Colonel Assimi Goita, to head a transitional government until elections are held. Colonel Assimi Goita, will serve as deputy president.

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Nda`w said, in his inauguration speech, that he will end militant insurgency in the country’s north and stop organized crime.

The military junta in Mali took over power and forced Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta out of office five weeks ago. ECOWAS leaders have overseen negotiations for a return to democracy.  The appointment of a civilian president was a condition for the west African regional group, ECOWAS, to lift the sanctions it earlier imposed after the coup.

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Mali leaders are hoping ECOWAS will lift sanctions on the country after the inauguration. The new government is expected to be in office for a transition period of 18 months that will lead to an election.

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