straight talk

‘France and Mali are an old couple, there may be disputes but there’s no divorce’ says Choguel Maïg

By Manon Laplace, Bokar Sangaré in Bamako

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Posted on October 19, 2021 10:21

Postponement of elections, crisis with France, alliance with Russia… Five months after his appointment, Mali’s Prime Minister sits down to speak to us directly on an array of potentially controversial topics. 

After five months at the head of the Malian transitional government, it’s an understatement to say that Choguel Maïga has remained under the radar. The Prime Minister, appointed after the second coup in nine months in the country, has engaged in arm wrestling on all fronts.

Postponement of elections as demanded by the international community, French military presence, cooperation with Russia … He received us in his residence in Bamako, and answered our questions without any pushback or irony.

Elections are due to take place on 22 February next year, effectively ending the transition, but many doubt this deadline will be respected. What is the situation?

Choguel Kokalla Maïga: We will do everything possible to respect our commitments to the international community, but we must also be realistic. Should we rush into elections under external pressure, at the risk of leading to a new

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