Mali's interim president, Dioncounda Traore, announced the creation of a number of new top-level government positions on Sunday in a shake-up of a transitional team heavily criticised for failing to tackle the country's twin crises.
The West African nation, once seen as a rare stable democracy in a tumultuous region, has been split in two since a coup on March 22 paved the way for a military advance by northern separatists and al Qaeda-linked Islamists.
Traore was named interim president as part of a deal that saw a military junta return leadership of the country to civilian authorities. A transitional government was formed under Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra, a former NASA astrophysicist and political novice, to usher Mali to elections and reconquer the north.
But, three months on, crippled by internal bickering, it has achieved little.
Traore has spent much of his short tenure in France recovering from injuries he sustained in May when a pro-coup mob broke into his offices and beat him up. He only returned to Mali on Friday.
In a speech broadcast on state television on Sunday night, he called on Malians to forgive one another and unite behind efforts to end the political crisis in the south and reunify the country.
"Given the complexity of this crisis and the depth of the distress of our people ... as patriots and democrats we must together clear the path we will follow to free our country from all these invaders," he said.
He went on to outline his plan for modifying the transitional authority, calling for the creation of two vice-presidential posts, one to be held by the military and another for "social actors."
He also announced the creation of a national council of transition and a special commission to negotiate with armed groups in the north.
But details concerning how power would be shared under the new arrangement were scarce.
West Africa's ECOWAS bloc, which is pushing for the deployment of a 3,000-troop intervention force in Mali, has grown increasingly impatient with the current interim body's lack of progress towards resolving the political impasse.