Malian opposition chief Soumaila Cissé has died of coronavirus aged 71, his household and get together stated Friday, simply two months after he was launched by jihadist militants in a prisoner swap.
Cissé “died in France, the place he had been taken for Covid-19 care”, a member of his household informed AFP.
“I can affirm this horrible information. He is lifeless,” a pacesetter of Cissé’s URD get together informed AFP, saying the politician’s spouse had let him know.
Cissé was snatched by jihadists on March 25 whereas campaigning within the northeastern Timbuktu area forward of long-delayed legislative elections.
He was freed six months later in October alongside Frenchwoman Sophie Pétronin and two Italians.
The hostages have been exchanged for some 200 prisoners whose launch was demanded by jihadist teams.
“I used to be not subjected to any violence, both bodily or verbal,” Cissé stated following his launch.
A former chief of the opposition in parliament, Cissé was runner-up in three presidential elections.
In 2013 and 2018, he was defeated by Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was ousted in an August 18 navy coup.
Following the 2018 vote, Cissé accused officers of rigging the election, claiming he had gained a runoff with 51.75 p.c of the vote to Keita’s 48.25 p.c.
An engineer and IT specialist by coaching, Cissé studied in Senegal and France, the place he labored for main corporations together with IBM earlier than returning to Mali.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)