Mali's transitional leader celebrates army's 61st anniversary

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The armed forces in Mali celebrated on Thursday 61 years since their creation.

In a speech, the transitional leader reaffirmed his determination in bringing security and peace to the country.

"Today we feel a clear improvement in the security framework and this is due to the various operations that have been launched recently. And these operations are beginning to bear fruit. Therefore, we can only thank and congratulate the commitment of the FAMAs as well as their partners who fight daily with bravery and determination to bring security and peace throughout Mali", said Assimi Goïta, Interim President of Mali.

The interim president faces increasing pressure from ECOWAS countries after the regional bloc closed borders on January 9th as part of economic and diplomatic sanctions.

Mali's interim president reaffirmed his intention to hold free and credible elections.

"And these various operations ultimately aim for the return of the state, to create conditions for a secure, peaceful environment, for the organization of free and credible elections. Which is the condition to a return to a secure and peaceful constitutional order", added the transitional leader.

ECOWAS imposed the sanctions in response to the junta's refusal to hold promised elections next month, the military leaders instead saying they could remain in power for up to five years.

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