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Mali Detains Ally Of PM Maiga After Criticism Of Military Rule

A CLOSE ally of Mali’s civilian Prime Minister, Choguel Kokalla Maiga, was detained on Monday following their political movement’s open criticism of the country’s military rulers. The M5-RFP movement issued a strong statement on Friday against the colonels who seized power in 2020, criticising their failure to meet a March deadline to hold elections and transfer power to a civilian government.

Two sources confirmed that Boubacar Traore, who signed the critical statement, had been detained. A member of his entourage reported that Traore was taken by intelligence agents from his office in the building housing the prime minister’s services.


The M5-RFP statement marked a significant breakdown in relations between the colonels and Prime Minister Maiga, who was appointed by the military rulers in 2021. The statement opposed proposals to promote the colonels to the rank of generals and to launch talks with armed insurgents—proposals that emerged from recent national consultations organised by the military rulers. The M5 described these proposals as offensive to public opinion.

While it could not be confirmed if Prime Minister Maiga supported the M5 statement, Traore indicated that the statement came from the faction backing Maiga. The prime minister himself has not commented, fuelling speculation that he might be replaced due to his increasingly isolated position and limited room to manoeuvre.

The colonels have maintained a tight grip on power since a second coup in 2021 and have not set a new date for transferring power to a civilian government.

Prime Minister Maiga had previously announced that the military rulers would only organise elections once the security situation stabilises completely. In April, the military authorities suspended all party-political activities and have been suppressing opposition, journalists, and human rights activists.

Mali has been in a state of political and security crisis since 2012, exacerbated by attacks from armed groups and a separatist struggle in the north.

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