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264 words - August 14, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (IBK) has been elected President of Mali with approximately 75 to 80% of the vote's second round on August 11, after his main rival, Soumaila Cissé, conceded defeat. These elections happened after a military coup in March 2012 and renewed fighting between government forces and Tuareg rebels. Also last year witnessed the almost disappearance of Mali as a state had France not carried out Operation Serval which repelled an insurgency of Islamist extremists who had seized large portions of the country's north, including three cities.
As a result, the international community praised that "that no major incidents occurred" during the election, "an important step on the path to recovery for Mali." French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the election "was both a great feat – a promising rebirth – and a victory for peace." Mr. Fabius also insisted on the "democratic legitimacy" of IBK whose main tasks will be "together with the new government and the new assembly that will be elected – (to) help the country recover and ensure its unity and development through a very broad-based dialogue."
Beyond Mali and its people's renewed hope towards a better future, it is also a great achievement for France whose Operation Serval's soldiers have been instrumental in the stabilization of the area. Now, 6,000 out of the 12,600 peacekeeping troops of the UN Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) have been deployed so far. They will be patrolling the country's north, progressively taking over from French and ECOWAS troops (AFISMA).
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