BAMAKO - Mali’s new prime minister was in talks on Sunday to appoint a government to lead the West African nation’s post-war recovery after the surprise resignation of his predecessor and the entire cabinet.

Former planning minister Moussa Mara, 39, was promoted to the premiership on Saturday after Mali’s first post-war Prime Minister Oumar Tatam Ly quit just six months into office, a statement from the presidency said. ‘Moussa Mara is engaged on Sunday in consultations for the formation of the new government,’ an aide told AFP, adding that the new cabinet would likely be made public within a week.

President Ibrahima Boubacar Keita’s office gave no reason for the resignation of Ly and his ministers, but it emerged on Sunday that the prime minister had become frustrated over being unable to enact reforms in the administration.

Ly, 50, said in his resignation letter, seen by AFP, that he had been unable to convince Keita to act on ‘the inefficiencies and inadequacies that I found in the running of government that greatly reduce its ability to meet challenges’.

‘Accordingly, in consideration of these differing views which make the mission you have entrusted to me untenable, I am sorry to present my resignation as prime minister,’ Ly wrote. A source close to Ly said he had ‘insistently, since early March, brought to Keita’s attention the need not only to restructure the government team, but also to change old habits in the running of Mali’. ‘When you are in charge of running a government, you need your hands free to work. If this is no longer the case, you have to draw your own conclusions and that is what that Mr Ly has done,’ another close aide told AFP.