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Breaking: Malian PM forms new govt, appoints opposition leaders into office

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Mali’s Prime Minister Boubou Cisse formed a new government, two weeks after the previous cabinet resigned amid a spike in violence in the West African country, local media reported on Monday.

According to a decree read on public radio and television, Cisse appointed 37 ministers, nine of whom are women.

In a suprising move, Cisse selected the head of Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), Michel Sidibe to lead Mali’s ministry of health and social affairs.

Sidibe agreed to leave UNAIDS in June, following an expert report that said his defective leadership had plunged the UN agency into crisis.

Cisse himself will manage the finance ministry in addition to being prime minister, while opposition leaders Tiebile Drame and Amadou Thiam were appointed to the ministries of foreign affairs and institutional reforms, respectively.

Gen. Ibrahim Dahirou Dembele will head the defence ministry.

Mali, a poverty-stricken and volatile nation, has experienced sporadic attacks by armed groups since a 2012 coup that led to separatist rebels and al-Qaeda-associated groups gaining a foothold in the country’s north.

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