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Mali's New PM Unveils 34-Member Cabinet

Mali's first post-war prime minister Oumar Tatam Ly (R) took over on September 6, 2013 from former interim Prime Minister Diango Cissoko (L) at a ceremony in Bamako.
Mali's new prime minister, technocrat Oumar Tatam Ly, has named a 34-member Cabinet that includes a new ministry tasked with promoting reconciliation in the country's war-ravaged north.

The new department of National Reconciliation and Northern Developement aims to heal scars from a 2012 rebellion by an Islamist-led mix of rebel groups, including radicals with links to al-Qaida. That uprising, which followed a coup in Bamako, was crushed by a French-led military intervention early this year.

In a key move, the prime minister named one-time rebel leader Zahibi Ould Sidi Mohamed to head the Foreign Ministry. Four women were named to the new government, including Finance Minister Bouare Fily Sissoko -- an economist who has worked for the World Bank.

The U.S. State Department last week announced the resumption of development aid to the West African nation. But a statement said Washington will continue to evaluate when and how to resume military assistance.

Last week, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was sworn in as president, after winning the country's first election since French intervention.