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Aug 15, 2013

Keita given strong mandate for reform in Mali vote

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Ibrahim Boubacar Keita won Mali’s presidential runoff with 78 percent of the vote, the government said on Thursday, giving him a strong mandate to seek peace with northern separatists and for sweeping reforms to the army after a military coup.

Sunday’s vote marked a transition back to democratic rule after the March 2012 coup plunged Mali into turmoil, allowing Islamist insurgents to seize the desert north. A French-led military intervention in January liberated the region.

Aug 13, 2013

Malians applaud as Cisse vows to create opposition

BAMAKO (Reuters) – The loser of Mali’s presidential election vowed on Tuesday to build the war-torn West African country’s first real opposition in years, as Malians applauded his admission of defeat that dispelled fears of fresh conflict.

Soumaila Cisse conceded late on Monday as it became clear former prime minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita had swept Sunday’s second-round vote with a promise to restore the pride of a nation riven by a military coup and Islamist revolt last year.

Aug 13, 2013

Loser in Mali presidential race vows to create opposition

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Soumaila Cisse, loser in Mali’s presidential elections, vowed on Tuesday that he would build the country’s first proper opposition in years, as Malians applauded his concession to Ibrahim Boubacar Keita which dispelled fears of fresh conflict.

Cisse conceded defeat late on Monday as it became clear that former prime minister Keita had swept Sunday’s second round vote. Keita has promised to restore the pride of a nation riven by a military coup and an Islamist revolt last year.

Aug 13, 2013

Keita wins Mali presidential vote after rival admits defeat

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, an ex-prime minister with a reputation for firmness, won Mali’s presidential election after his rival conceded defeat on Monday in a poll meant to draw a line under more than a year of turmoil.

Keita, 68, universally known by his initials IBK, will now have access to $4 billion in international development aid to rebuild the West African country after a French military intervention in January ended Islamist rebels’ occupation of the northern two-thirds of Mali.

Aug 12, 2013

Cisse concedes, congratulates Keita for winning Mali vote

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Soumaila Cisse on Monday conceded defeat in Mali’s presidential election runoff, congratulating his rival Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on winning a vote meant to draw a line under more than a year of turmoil in the West African nation.

Cisse’s concession, hours after he complained the election had been marred by fraud, will deepen optimism for Mali’s recovery. Keita, a former prime minister, inherits a broken nation and must still negotiate peace with northern rebels.

Aug 12, 2013

Mali vote a success, major step for war-torn nation: observers

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Election observers on Monday hailed a weekend presidential runoff in Mali as a success as results trickled in from across the West African country from a vote meant to draw a line under more than a year of turmoil.

Although official figures are not expected until Tuesday at the earliest, Malian media cited partial vote counts from across the vast, landlocked former French colony that put ex-prime minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita firmly in the lead, particularly in the populous south.

Aug 11, 2013

Tuareg of northern Mali say election alone will not bring peace

KIDAL, Mali (Reuters) – In the birthplace of a Tuareg revolt that nearly tore Mali apart last year, residents said Sunday’s election would not bring lasting peace unless a new president in the distant south gave them more freedom.

The desert region of Kidal in Mali’s desolate northeast has produced four rebellions since independence from France in 1960. Its light-skinned Tuareg people say successive black African governments in the capital Bamako have excluded them from power.

Aug 11, 2013

Former PM favourite for president in run-off vote to heal Mali

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Poll workers in Mali began counting votes in Sunday’s high stakes presidential runoff, with former Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita tipped to claim the difficult job of stabilising the West African nation after more than a year of turmoil.

The winner of the vote will be able to draw on more than $4 billion in foreign aid promised to rebuild the country after a French-led military intervention in January routed al Qaeda-linked rebels occupying the desert north.

Aug 11, 2013

Former PM favorite for president as Malians vote to end crisis

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Former Prime Minister Ibrahima Boubacar Keita was the favorite to win a presidential election on Sunday that Malians hope will restore stability in a country torn apart by last year’s coup and Islamist insurgency.

The winner of the run-off ballot will oversee more than $4 billion in foreign aid promised to rebuild the West African nation, after France sent thousands of troops in January to break the grip of al Qaeda-linked rebels over its desert north.

Aug 11, 2013

Tough-talking ex-PM favourite as Malians vote to turn page on turmoil

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Malians vote on Sunday in the second round of a presidential poll with a tough-talking ex-prime minister the favourite to win an election meant to offer the country a fresh start after a coup and Islamist rebellion last year.

The victor in Sunday’s ballot will oversee more than $4 billion (2.58 billion pounds) in foreign aid promised to rebuild the West African nation, after France sent thousands of troops in January to break the grip of al Qaeda-linked rebels over its desert north.