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Malians celebrate return of interim PM

Mali's interim Prime Minister, Abdoulaye Idrissa Maïga at the UN   -  
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Mary Altaffer/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Mali's interim Prime Minister, Abdoulaye Idrissa Maïga, is back home after his speech at the UN's General Assembly.

In his speech, Idrissa Maïga praised the military junta's successes against the jihadists and his country's regained sense of sovereignty.

"I would like to thank his Excellency Colonel Assimi Goita, President of the transition and of course all the Malian people. We are doers and after having carried out a mission, to receive such a welcome, necessarily we did not expect it at all. We did our duty . I think in all honesty that this is too much of an honour for my modest self", said the interim prime-minister, Abdoulaye Idrissa Maïga, on his return. 

In Mali, the interim prime-minister's speech drew praise for what was described as "raw truths", his courage and eloquence.

On the streets of Bamako, people celebrated his return to the country. Many voiced their support.

"We went out to welcome our Prime Minister. The hero. A true African, and a true Malian", shouted resident Seydou Thiama. 

"He honoured us at the United Nations General Assembly. It is a welcome of gratitude. May God save Mali" added Aminata Samaké.

"He put everyone in their place. Anyone who does not respect Mali will not be respected and vice versa. That is all!", voiced Abdoulaye Diarra, another resident in the capital.

Mali is emerging from a six-month trade and financial embargo imposed by ECOWAS, but relations continue to be strained between an organisation that is pushing for the return of civilians to power and a regime that is promising elections in 2024 after reneging on its initial commitments.

Since the 2020 coup and particularly the second one in 2021 that the military consolidated their grip on a country facing the spread of jihadism and crises of all kinds. 

Since then, the military have cut ties with France and its European allies and turned to Russia for help.

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