Mali PM urges unity govt after opposition rejects compromise

BAMAKO (AFP) – Mali’s Prime Minister tried to break the country’s political deadlock on Tuesday, visiting the home of a key opposition figure and inviting him to bring his movement into a unity government.

Boubou Cisse visited the influential religious leader imam Mahmoud Dicko – regarded as the figurehead of the June 5 Movement (M5-RFP) – at his home in Bamako in the Badalabougou district, close to the mosque where he preaches.

Cisse “asked the imam to get involved so that the M5-RFP accept the outstretched hand of (President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita) by joining the government of national unity, by favouring dialogue as an unavoidable solution to end the crisis,” the Prime Minister’s office said.

But the June 5 Movement’s (M5-RFP) figurehead, was scathing about the latest government offer in a statement earlier Tuesday.

Cisse leads a stripped-down government of six ministers that was announced on Monday evening tasked specifically with negotiating a unity government.

In a speech earlier Tuesday he urged political opponents to join such an administration but this was rejected by opposition figures campaigning for President Keita to resign.