Mali PM in first top-level visit to restive Kidal since 2014

2018-03-23 16:07
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kidal - Mali's Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga landed in the restive town of Kidal on Friday, representing the first such visit since 2014 to an area that remains in the hands of former rebels.

Five French soldiers were wounded in Kidal on Thursday in an attack that France's defence minister said was likely linked to Maiga's visit.

The prime minister touched down at 10:00  (1000 GMT) at a UN base after a day-long delay due to bad weather, where he was greeted by the head of the world body's mission in the country, Mahamat Saleh Annadif.

Appointed in December, Maiga was charged with bolstering security as jihadists mount near-weekly attacks on security forces, raising safety fears ahead of the presidential election in July.

Around 4 000 French troops are deployed there as part of Operation Barkhane alongside the UN's 12 000-strong MINUSMA peacekeeping operation in Mali.

On Thursday, he visited Tessalit, northeastern Mali, to meet soldiers and local officials, accompanied by an entourage of eight ministers.

No Malian head of government has visited Kidal since 2014 when fighting broke out during a visit by then prime minister Moussa Mara which ended with the army suffering a heavy defeat.

The rebels, who rose up against the state in 2012 in a movement piggybacked by jihadists, signed a peace treaty in 2015 but have resisted handing back full control to the government.

Maiga on Tuesday said he would visit "without arrogance, in order to listen, and understand the urgent needs of the population".

The prime minister is also due in Gao and Timbuktu, two other northern cities frequently rocked by unrest.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news from around the continent by subscribing to our FREE newsletter, Hello Africa.

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook. 

Read more on:    un  |  mali  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.