Former defence minister Ndaw appointed Mali’s transition leader Sep 22, 2020 0 1066 12345 AFPBamakoMali’s military junta announced the leaders of a new transition government in the Sahel state on Monday, which will retain strong army links despite international pressure to appoint civilians.Junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita said in a televised statement that former defence minister Bah Ndaw would become transition president -- while he himself would serve as vice president. The announcement comes after the 15-nation West Africa bloc ECOWAS last week gave Mali’s ruling officers “days” to appoint civilian leaders, warning that it would not lift sanctions on the country otherwise.West African leaders imposed sanctions on Mali -- including a trade embargo and shuttered borders -- in the wake of the August 18 military coup that ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.The junta said last week that it would prefer the military to run the transition, however.Ndaw, a 70-year-old retiree, was appointed transition president by a committee chosen by the junta, Goita said on Monday.“Each proposal has its advantages and its disadvantages,” he said, referring to the choice between a civilian, or military president.He added that the committee had taken “a global context” into account when picking Ndaw, in an apparent reference to pressure from ECOWAS. Ndaw is a former helicopter pilot who was once an aide-de-camp to Mali’s ex-dictator Moussa Traore, who died last week aged 83.He later served as a defence minister under president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita -- who was ousted in the military coup last month. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Taj Mahal reopens even as India coronavirus cases soar Sep 22, 2020 0 47 Lebanon president warns country going to ‘hell’ without new cabinet Sep 22, 2020 0 650 53 security forces killed as violence escalates in Afghanistan Sep 22, 2020 0 2175 15 dead, 25 feared trapped in India building collapse AFP Bhiwandi At least 15 people were killed and up to 25 others were still feared trapped on Monday after a three-storey apartment block collapsed in western India, officials said. Local residents cheered as emergency .. War with Iraq proved Iran can defend itself, says Khamenei AFP Tehran Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday said the Islamic republic’s 1980-88 war with Iraq showed the country can defend itself, without directly addressing the current circumstances. .. EU imposes sanctions on three firms for breaking Libya arms embargo AFP Brussels The European Union on Monday imposed sanctions on three companies -- one Turkish, one Kazakh and one Jordanian -- for breaching the UN arms embargo on Libya. Foreign ministers signed off on the measures, .. Wrestler executed for murder, not protesting: Iran’s FM TEHRAN: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underscored on Monday that wrestler Navid Afkari was executed on murder charges, not because he was involved in political protests. There was a trial, and the court .. Turkey’s Erdogan sues Greek newspaper for expletive-laden headline ISTANBUL: Turkey’s president sued an extreme-right-wing Greek newspaper that published a front-page headline laced with expletives against him, state news agency Anadolu reported on Monday. A criminal complaint .. US issues security alert for citizens in Bahrain AFP Manama The United States Embassy in Bahrain on Monday warned American citizens in the Gulf kingdom of the “need for caution”, days after Manama signed a US-backed deal with Israel. “The Embassy encourages all US ..