The leader of the Union for the Republic and Democracy (URD) was campaigning as part of the legislative elections of March 29, 2020.
The Malian opponent Soumaïla Cissé, president of the Union for the Republic and Democracy (URD), was removed on March 25, 2020, but it “is doing well” as well as part of his delegation, according to his political party which held a press conference in the morning of March 26 in Bamako, the Malian capital. However, his bodyguard was killed and two others on his team were injured during the abduction by “armed men”. The bodyguard of the head of the URD, Mohamed Cisse, was shot and did not survive his injuries.
In the electoral district of Niafunké (Timbuktu region, northern Mali) where they campaigned for the legislative elections of March 29, 2020, thehe political leader and his delegation had left Saraféré “around 3pm” and were expected in Koumaïra “about 16 o'clock”, distant localities “about 20km”. They will never reach their destination. “From that moment (and) until this morning (March 26, 2020), we had not received any information from him and members of his delegation “, said Me Demba Traoré, the communications secretary of the URD.
“We can say today, as I speak to you (around 11:30 GMT, local time), that Monsieur Cissé is doing well with the other members of the delegation. Those who had problems were released to go for treatment (and) so that the deceased can be buried “, said Demba Traoré. The delegation, made up of a total of 12 people in two 4X4 vehicles, was split in two by the attackers. “A first group of (5) people arrived at Saraféré around 7:30 am (Thursday March 26)“ among them the two wounded and the guard body of the president of the URD.
“We want to clarify that we do not know the identity of the attackers, we do not know the reasons for their kidnapping, there is no ongoing discussion around ransoms”, said the URD spokesperson.
From the day of the kidnapping, the URD had published a press release in which the political party announced that Soumaïla Cissé and “his delegation campaigning for the legislative elections in the electoral district of Niafunké (were) missing since 3.30pm on Wednesday 25 March 2020 “.
Like six other members of his delegation, “for the moment, the Honorable Soumaïla Cissé is not free, contrary to the erroneous information circulating on social networks”, insisted Demba Traoré. “They are somewhere in Mali, in good health”, he added.
The political group claims to have informed the Malian Minister of Security, the Malian Prime Minister, the diplomatic corps, the United Nations Mission in Mali (Minusma) and Barkhane (the French military operation in Mali). “The Prime Minister undertook to associate them (Minusma and Barkhane) also in research activities so that we can find them safe and sound “.
According to its spokesperson Demba Traoré, the URD is also directly in contact with the Minusma for “give the right information”. Also in the same vein, a meeting is also scheduled for March 27 with the Malian Minister of Security.
Soumaïla Cissé was the main opponent of Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta during the last presidential election in Mali and he notably led the West African Economic and Monetary Union (Uemoa).