Mali’s Traore sworn in as acting president

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Mali’s Dioncounda Traore was sworn in as interim president of his West African country after leaders of a March 22 coup agreed to hand back power to civilians.

Traore, previously the speaker of the national parliament, was sworn in by Supreme Court President Nouhoum Tapily at a brief ceremony in the capital Bamako.

He faces the uphill task of organising new elections in the mostly desert state, where Tuareg-led rebels and Islamist allies earlier this month seized the northern half of the country in a lightning advance made in the aftermath of the coup, Reuters reports.