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Mali opposition leader and presidential hopeful Cisse dies

Mali opposition leader and presidential hopeful Cisse dies

THE  long-time leader of Mali's opposition, Soumaila Cisse, has died at the age of 71, his spokesman said, two months after his release from lengthy captivity by Islamist insurgents. Cisse, a former finance minister who finished runner-up in the 2013 and 2018 presidential elections to Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, was considered among the favourites in a vote expected in early 2022 after Keita's overthrow in an August military coup. "I confirm that Soumaila died last night in Paris," his spokesman, Nouhoum Togo, told Reuters without providing further detail. French media reported that he had died of COVID-19. Cisse was kidnapped in…
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Kidnapped Mali politician, French aid worker and two Italians freed

Kidnapped Mali politician, French aid worker and two Italians freed

PAUL LORGERIE and TIEMOKO DIALLO Freed Malian politician Soumaila Cisse, French aid worker Sophie Petronin and two Italians arrived in Bamako on Thursday aboard a Malian military transport plane, ending their lengthy captivity in the hands of Islamist insurgents. They were greeted by jubilant scenes on the tarmac at Bamako airport, with Petronin’s son Sebastian Chadaud-Petronin picking her up and crying out: “Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama!” videos and photographs shared on social media showed. Sebastian Chadaud-Petronin and his mother Sophie Petronin Cisse hugged a relative and later entered a vehicle as supporters chanted his name. They were driven to the…
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Mali frees scores of jihadists amid speculations of prisoner swap

Mali frees scores of jihadists amid speculations of prisoner swap

AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER MALIAN authorities have released over one hundred alleged or convicted jihadists in a move which may facilitate the liberation of hostages.   The jihadists had been freed early Tuesday and over the week-end from prisons located in the centre and north of the country.  According to the Malian Association for Human Rights, they were held in detention centres in the town of Mopti and the capital, Bamako.  Reports indicate that the prisoners were flown into the central town of Niono and Tessalit, a town bordering Algeria.  According to Radio France International’s correspondent in Mali, witnesses saw them get…
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Kidnapped politician, French aid worker to be freed in Mali prisoner swap

Kidnapped politician, French aid worker to be freed in Mali prisoner swap

MALI will release scores of suspected Islamist insurgents in a prisoner exchange for opposition leader Soumaila Cisse and French aid worker Sophie Petronin, two security sources and a diplomatic source said on Monday. Cisse, a popular politician who served as finance minister from 1993 to 2000, was kidnapped by gunmen while campaigning in the northern region of Timbuktu in March, while Petronin, who ran a charity for malnourished and orphaned children, was abducted near the northern city of Gao in late 2016. They are two high-profile examples of Mali's deepening security crisis caused by the persistent presence of jihadist groups…
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