Keita pledges effort to achieve Mali unity

imgMalian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on Wednesday pledged to unite Mali as he was sworn in to lead the deeply-divided west African nation’s emergence from months of political crisis and conflict.

Keita, a former prime minister, began his five-year term in the presence of outgoing transitional leader Dioncounda Troare and more than 1,000 Malian politicians, diplomats and military personnel as he took the presidential oath at a ceremony in the capital Bamako.

“I swear before God and the people of Mali to faithfully preserve the republican regime, to respect and uphold the constitution and the law, to fulfill my duties in the best interests of the people, to preserve the democratic gains, to ensure national unity, independence of the country and the integrity of the national territory,” he said.

Mali’s constitutional court confirmed Keita’s landslide victory three weeks ago in the Aug.11 presidential run-off against former minister Soumaila Cisse.

“I pledge on my honour and to make every effort for the achievement of African unity,” Keita said, raising his right hand.

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