Mali’s prime minister reappears in public after four months of «forced» rest for health reasons

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Archive – Mali’s transitional Prime Minister Choguel Maiga (c) – Nicolas Remene/Le Pictorium Agen / DPA

The leader of Mali’s military junta, Assimi Goita, received on Friday the transitional Prime Minister, Choguel Kokalla Maiga, who has spent four months in a «forced» rest on the recommendation of his personal doctor, without details of his state of health having transpired.

Maiga has been received in audience by the transitional president at the Koulouba Palace, according to the Malian daily ‘L’Essor’. «I have come to inform the president that I am ready to resume my work,» he said.

The prime minister also called for unity among the population, amid the growing international isolation of the military junta. Maiga has not pronounced himself on the causes of his «rest», following reports by ‘Jeune Afrique’ about a possible stroke.

Maiga was appointed prime minister in June 2021, after Goita led a new coup just a month earlier that overthrew the transitional authorities put in place after the August 2020 uprising, which led to the fall of the then president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

The junta is facing increasing international isolation. In fact, French President Emmanuel Macron recently made official the end of the ‘Barkhane’ operation in the Sahel, amid the withdrawal of international troops due to tensions with Bamako over its postponements of elections in order to stay in power.

Likewise, the United Kingdom, Germany and Ivory Coast recently announced the withdrawal of their troops from the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), while France has suspended its development aid and the Czech Republic has announced that it will close its embassy in Bamako.