Mali PM extends olive branch to key opposition

Mali’s Prime Minister Boubou Cisse has invited a prominent opposition figure to bring his movement into a unity government, his spokesman said on Tuesday.

Cisse visited influential imam Mahmoud Dicko at his home in the capital Bamako, close to the mosque where he preaches, said a statement from Cisse’s office sent to AFP.

Saudi-trained imam Dicko is considered the figurehead of June 5 Movement, which has rocked the government by staging huge protests after disputed elections in March and April.

Cisse asked the imam to “accept the outstretched hand” of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita by joining the government and by “favouring dialogue as an unavoidable solution to end the crisis”, the statement said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Cisse appealed to political opponents to join a unity government after recommendations from the 15-nation regional bloc ECOWAS.

A stripped-down government of six ministers led by Cisse was announced on Monday evening, tasked with negotiating the unity government.


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