Mali Opposition Politicians Declare Transition Govt in Exile

Sun May 26 2024
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DAKAR, Senegal: Malian opposition politicians said on Saturday they had formed a transitional government in exile to rival the one ruling the country, which has been ruled by the military since a 2020 coup.

It was the latest maneuver by the civilian opposition since Mali’s military rulers missed a March deadline to hold elections and hand over power to a civilian government.

“The citizen assembly of the civil transition has today elected the members of the government,” said a statement from Geneva signed by exiled Malian politician Adaman Traore, identified as the body’s president.

This “civilian transformation (government)… is the only legitimate one in Mali,” the text reads.

Mohamed Cherif Kone, one of several prominent exiled politicians listed as members, was appointed prime minister and defence minister of the rival government.

The announcement came a day after the political movement behind Mali’s junta-appointed civilian prime minister, Choguel Kokalla Maiga, openly criticized the military rulers for the first time.

It was not clear whether Maiga endorsed this position or the rival “government’s” statement on Saturday.

The colonels have a firm grip on power, have suspended all party-political activities and silenced opponents, journalists and human rights activists.

Mali has been mired in a political and security crisis since 2012, fueled by attacks by jihadist and other armed groups, as well as separatist fighting in the north.

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