Panafrican News Agency

Col. Assima Goita, a pure product of the Malian National Army (Portrait of Mali's transition leader)

Bamako, Mali (PANA) - Col. Assimi Goïta, sworn in on Monday before the Supreme Court as President of the Transition in Mali, is one of the young officers who toppled President Ibrahim Boubacar Kéita, on 18 August, 2020, in a military coup.

After the coup, he was president of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) and vice-president of the Transition, before the arrest on 24 May, 2021, of the President of the Transition, Bah N'Daw, and his Prime Minister, Moctar Ouane, both of whom resigned two days later.

The new president of the Transition, who was born in Bamako in 1983, is a pure product of the national army. He began his training at the Prytanée militaire de Kati, a school dedicated in part to the training of future officers. He attended the École militaire interarmes (EMIA) in Koulikoro.

After his training, he served in the Army Corps, specialising in 'armoured weapons and cavalry', then successively in the North and the Far North of the country, notably in the fight against terrorist groups and drug trafficking.

In addition to his experience in the field, the officer attended several military training courses, including graduating from the Military College No. 1 in 2014.

He has attended other military training courses abroad, including higher application courses in France, Germany and at the Gabonese army headquarters in 2015.

He also attended other courses on special operations against terrorism in Germany and in Tampa, Florida, United States.

Goita has held several senior positions, including that of Joint Central Staff Officer of the General Staff of the Armed Forces and Chief of the Special Operations Division of the Army Staff.

In November 2015, he was deployed as Coordinator of Special Operations to the Ministry of Security, following the terrorist attack on the "Radison Blu" hotel in Bamako.

From July 2018 until the events of August 2020, Col. Goïta was the commander of the Autonomous Battalion of Special Forces and Aguerrissement Centres (BAFS-CA), a unit created in May 2018 for an effective response to terrorism following the increasing deadly attacks in Mali.

Goïta has been involved in several campaigns and operations throughout Mali and abroad. Between 2020 and 2004, he participated in the campaigns of the operations "Maliko", "Dambé", "Maliba", "Baden Ko", "Djigui Tougou" and the UN operation in Darfur, Sudan.

The new Malian leader was awarded the Grand Officer of the National Order of Mali. He has also been awarded the Cross of Valour, the Medal of Military Merit and the French Defence Medal, gold level.

He is also the holder of the commemorative medals of the "Maliko", "Dambé", "Maliba" campaigns and those of the "Flame of Peace" and United Nations campaigns in Darfur.

-0- PANA GT/JSG/BBA/VAO 8June2021