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On 11 August Mali held the second round of its presidential election. The overwhelming winner with 77.6% of the vote was Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (IBK). He beat Soumaila Cisse, who won 22.4% of the vote. IBK has a credible mandate and has pledged to push ahead with national reconciliation, tackle corruption and rebuild the country’s collapsed economy. Donors pledged over $4 billion at a conference in May that was conditional on the election being held; these funds can now begin to be disbursed. Many challenges lie ahead. A crucial element in achieving national reconciliation will be turning the ceasefire agreement reached in June with the Tuareg Nationalist MNLA into something more permanent. It is unlikely to disarm voluntarily unless a substantive offer of extensive autonomy for the north is made


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