Soumaila Cissé, Mali’s opposition politician, as well as 11 others, have gone missing and are perceived to have been kidnapped.
A statement released on Wednesday by Cisse’s Union for the Republic and Democracy (URD) party revealed that Mr Cissé had gone missing while campaigning in the central Niafunke region of the country where Al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists are said to be active.
The UDR explained that he and his team ought to have arrived on Wednesday evening in the nearby Koumaira village but they did not show up and had not been reachable by telephone.
“The party is deeply worried about the situation and urges the government, the armed forces and the UN mission to help trace them,” the party said.
Cissé was a former minister of finance. The country is currently preparing for parliamentary elections set for 29 March.
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta has said that the elections will go ahead despite the spread of coronavirus.