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Africa

Mali government resigns as president replaces prime minister

media Mali's new prime minister, Moussa Mara www.moussamara.com

Mali's President Ibrahim Boubakar Keita has replaced prime minister Oumar Tatam Ly with urban planning minister Moussa Mara. An official statement announced that Keita had fired Ly and that the government had resigned on Saturday night.

Keita has ordered Mara to form a new government, the statement said, but it did not explain the reasons for the departure of the previous one.

Dossier: War in Mali

The president's announcement said that Keita had ended Ly's mandate but Ly later made public his letter of resignation, in which he claimed that "malfunctions" in goverment "greatly reduced my capacity to answer the challenges" before him, claiming that he had repeatedly called for a change of course.

Mara, 39 - an accountant and mayor of part of the capital, Bamako - was a candidate in last year's presidential election, winning 1.5 per cent of the vote, and leads the Yelema (Change) party that he founded in 2010.

He is the son of former justice minister Joseph Mara, who was imprisoned five years under military dictator Moussa Traoré in the 1970s.

Ly, 50, is a banker by propfession, and was appointed by Keita following his election victory which in turn followed a French military intervention that put a stop to a rebellion by Islamic fundamentalists and Tuareg separatists.

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