Opposition Leader Cisse Reunites with Family after Months of Captivity


Jihadist insurgency in Mali began in 2012. Since then, this group of bandits has been staging numerous attacks in the country, making it insecure. Most of the civilians have fled the country because they are scared of losing their lives. It appears the uprising keeps growing as Tuareg rebels are becoming part of them. Earlier this year, a group of anonymous men abducted Soumaila Cisse while campaigning in his home area, Niafounke. However, after several months of siege, they released him.


Who Is Cisse?

He is a politician in Mali, a former finance minister, and opposition leader. He participated in Presidential elections three times and lost. After the last elections, he promised to file a fraud complaint with the constitutional court in Mali. He organized for a conference where he stated that results from his party revealed he had won the runoff with 51.75%. This is what he said:


“I reject the results proclaimed by the Ministry of Territorial Administration. That does not reflect the vote of Malians.”


Attempts to Rescue Cisse

The events that resulted in the disappearance of Cisse remain unclear to date. On that day, as he and 12 other colleagues were going about their campaign, unknown men who were armed hijacked their convoy. During the kidnap, there was shooting from both sides. Cisse’s bodyguard sustained an injury.


When it dawned on people that Cisse and his colleagues were missing, the government started making arrangments to rescue them. In a statement that the government released, it promised to return the people to their families. Olivier Salgo, the United Nations spokesperson also said that the UN had deployed soldiers to help in the search of the politician and his colleagues.

The Release Of Cisse

This news enlightened many in the country, his supporters, family, colleagues, etc. His presidency revealed the news on Thursday. Sophi Petonin, who is a french nationality, gained freedom on the same day. While Cisse was heading to Bamako, supporters flooded the streets singing welcome songs. Many were truly happy for his return.


The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, received the news with a sigh. He released a statement on Thursday expressing how relieved he felt for the release of Petronin. Petronin, a French humanitarian, disappeared in 2016 after the rebels kidnapped her. Report stated:


“The President of the Republic has learned with immense relief of the liberation of Ms. Jeannine ‘Sophie’ Pétronin, a French humanitarian who has been held hostage in Mali for nearly four years.”


President Macron felt indebted to Mali for pulling off such a task. He promised that France would devote its commitment to assist Mali in combating the jihadists in the Sahel. France had anticipated the return of one of their own.

Although it is unknown to many whether Cisse paid a ransom for his release, they are glad that he is back. Cisse’s release came after numerous negotiations with the Jihadists. They arrived at a consensus where the government of Mali released 100 jihadists, convicts, in exchange for Cisse.



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