The Latest: Mali notable in its absence from UN meeting

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Supporters hold placards showing former Defense Minister and retired Col. Maj. Bah N'Daw, above, who is now transitional president, and Col. Assimi Goita, below, head of the junta that staged the Aug. 18 coup and who is now transitional vice president, outside a swearing-in ceremony in the capital Bamako, Mali, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. Mali's transitional president and vice president were sworn into office Friday, more than a month after a coup in the West African nation, as Mali remains under sanctions by the 15-nation West African regional bloc ECOWAS, and amid uncertainty about details of the transition period. (AP Photo)

TANZANIA – The Latest from the U.N. General Assembly (all times local):


5:06 p.m.

A country missing from the annual United Nations gathering of world leaders is the West African nation of Mali, whose leadership is in mid-overhaul after a military coup last month.

The country late last week swore in a transitional president after talks with, and pressure from, regional nations eager for a speedy return to civilian rule. But no official, not even Mali’s U.N. ambassador, was put forward to deliver the traditional wide-ranging speech to fellow world leaders.

As late as last week, the United Nations still listed the deposed president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, as an upcoming speaker. But the final countries addressed the U.N. gathering on Tuesday afternoon with no word from Mali.

Worried West African neighbors are keen to hear more about the way forward in Mali, where many fear the upheaval will set back efforts to contain a growing Islamic extremist insurgency.

After a similar coup in 2012, extremists seized control of major towns in the arid north. Before this latest coup, extremists were moving south into more densely populated areas, adding to the frustrations that fed massive protests in the weeks ahead of the coup.