June 20, 2024

Colonel Assimi Goïta is youngest head of state in Malian history after leading two successful coups

Colonel Assimi Goïta
Colonel Assimi Goïta

Colonel Assimi Goïta is the acting president of Mali and has led the nation’s transition following an August 2020 coup d’etat. Over the span of just 9 months, he led two separate successful coups.

Assimi Goïta was acting president for just over a month after the 2020 coup d’etat and reclaimed the position once again when interim president Bah Ndaw was forced to resign amid a second coup in May of 2021.

Goïta held the position of vice president under transitional President Bah Ndaw but instigated a coup resulting in his resignation after reportedly concluding that Ndaw was not committed to a transition of power toward democracy.

Goïta and the ruling junta recently announced plans to transition to an elective government over a 24 month period that began in March of 2022.

The 2020 coup d’etat that forced the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was a culmination of nationwide protests and outrage regarding the government;’s handling of corruption, insurgency, electoral integrity, the covid-19 pandemic, and economic concerns.

Prior to first coming to power in 2020, Colonel Assimi Goïta was not a widely known figure in Mali. Born in 1983, Goïta became the youngest Malian head of state in the nation’s history when he first became acting president in 2020.

The son of a Malian Armed Forces officer, Assimi Goïta went into the military at an early age. He attended the Prytanée militaire de Kati and the Joint Military School in Koulikoro.Goïta became a leader with the rank of colonel in the Malian special forces.

Colonel Assimi Goïta led the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, the rebel group that led the overthrow of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in 2020 and has since been officially dissolved.

Across Mali, insurgency is a pervasive issue and has contributed extensively to regional instability and insecurity. Mali received the 7th highest score on Vision of Humanity’s 2021 global terrorism index, indicating that there are just 6 nations in the world that are morei impacted by terrorism.

As a high-ranking member of the Malian military, Colonel Assimi Goïta was faced with confronting insurgent groups comprised of jihadist extremists.

The United States recently acknowledged the Mali transitional government’s 24 month plan for a transition into an elected government. It also urged the prioritization of democratic values, respect for electoral law, and practical benchmarks.

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