June 8, 2023

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Malian Prime Minister Chogoel Maiga imposes “forced rest” on the doctor | News

Malian Prime Minister Chogoel Maiga imposes "forced rest" on the doctor |  News

Maiga’s office said Maiga was suffering from burnout after working for 14 months without a break.

The office of Mali’s prime minister, Chogoel Maiga, said the doctor put himself on forced rest on Saturday after months of intense effort.

“After 14 months of uninterrupted work, the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chogoel Kokala Maiga, has been placed on compulsory rest by his doctor,” his office said on its Facebook page on Saturday.

“He will resume his activity next week, God willing,” the statement added.

A consultant quoted by the Reuters news agency denied previous media reports in the Paris-based Jeune Afrique magazine that Maiga had been taken to hospital after suffering a stroke.

Mali’s ruling military government appointed the former opposition leader as prime minister of the transitional government it leads in June last year, after a military coup in August 2020.

Maiga has been one of the government’s most vocal voices in its frequent public debate with West African neighbors and international partners who have criticized its military cooperation with Russian mercenaries and repeated election delays.

ECOWAS, West Africa’s main political and economic bloc, is pressing Mali to honor its commitment to hold presidential and legislative elections after the August 2020 military coup. The new leadership has promised to organize democratic elections in 2024.

Maiga has repeatedly denounced France for “abandoning” Mali in its struggle against armed groups in the country, which has been the center of a bloody 10-year campaign waged by armed groups in the region.

Earlier on Saturday, the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali announced that it would resume troop rotation for the roughly 12,000-strong mission on Monday, one month after it suspended Malian authorities and accused foreign soldiers of entering the country without permission.

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She said they would resume follow-up discussions with representatives from the mission, known as MINUSMA, on how to coordinate the troop deployment.

Tensions have risen between Mali and the United Nations since Malian authorities last month detained 49 Ivory Coast soldiers, including members of the special forces.

Mali said the Ivorian soldiers did not have proper permission to come to Mali and accused them of being mercenaries.

A MINUSMA spokesman told Reuters on Saturday that the mission and the financial authorities had agreed on simplified rotation procedures and the mission’s request to resume rotation had been accepted.

Relations between Mali and troop-contributing countries remain tense. On Friday, Germany said it was suspending its military reconnaissance mission, which provides intelligence to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), after Malian authorities withheld flight permits.

Mali’s foreign minister denied on Twitter that the government had done so and called on Germany to stick to the new mechanism to agree to troop rotations.

Western powers have repeatedly criticized Russian mercenaries working for the controversial Russian Wagner Group deployed in Mali.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian accused the mercenaries of looting financial resources in exchange for the protection of the military government.

Part of the population views Russia as a more effective ally in the fight against armed groups. In February, thousands of anti-French protesters, waving Russian flags and burning cardboard cut-outs of French President Emmanuel Macron, flocked to the streets of the capital, Bamako, to cheer the French ambassador’s expulsion.

Relations between Mali and its former colonizer deteriorated in January when the military government reneged on an agreement to organize elections in February and proposed retaining power until 2025.

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Maiga’s transitional government has said it will hold elections in 2024.