Mali has a new president it seems — frontrunner Ibrahim Boubakar Keïta (or just IBK), after his rival in Sunday’s runoff vote, Soumaïla Cissé, conceded defeat earlier today.
Results have not been announced, though Mali’s election authorities believed that formal results would be ready by the end of the week.
Here’s a profile from a couple of weeks ago on IBK and what his leadership might mean for the troubled country as it turns back along a more democratic path. His first and most challenging task will be to secure a worthwhile peace accord with northern Tuareg separatists, whose campaign for independence triggered both the March 2012 military coup in Bamako and the subsequent destabilization of northern Mali, which led both foreign and Malian Islamists to take power and institute sharia law. French military intervention earlier this year deposed the Islamists and propped up the transitional Malian government, and French and other western governments have been eager for Mali’s rapid stabilization.