IS group leader captured in Mali as the country postpones democracy

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The French military announced on Wednesday its capture of a senior leader of the Islamic State group in Mali.

French troops deployed in Mali have captured a senior figure in the branch of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region of Africa, the military said Wednesday.

“In the night of 11-12 June, an operation of the (French) Barkhane force allowed the capture of Oumeya Ould Albakaye, a senior figure in the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (IS-GS),” a spokesman for the chief of staff told AFP.

Meanwhile, Mali’s military rulers announced on Monday they would delay until March 2024 a return to civilian rule following double coups that have been denounced by countries in the region and foreign powers.

Junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita signed a decree read out on state television saying that “the duration of the transition is fixed at 24 months (from) March 26, 2022”.

Mali has undergone two military coups since August 2020, when the army ousted elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Its military rulers had pledged to return power to civilians by February 2022 but subsequently extended the timetable, incurring regional sanctions.

Mali is struggling under those sanctions imposed by other countries in West Africa for its perceived foot-dragging over restoring civilian rule.




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