Malian Afropop sensation Salif Keita appointed as advisor to junta leader

Malian music icon Salif Keita designated as a “special advisor” to the leader of the nation’s military junta.

In a decree released on Monday, dated August 11, the renowned Afropop singer-songwriter has been appointed as one of five special advisors to Colonel Assimi Goita, who unseated elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in 2020.

The decree does not provide specific details about his new position.

At the age of 73, Keita has shown his support for the junta, aligning with its perspective on national sovereignty and advocating for the withdrawal of UN peacekeeping forces from Mali.

In the preceding week, he declared his decision to resign from a legislature appointed by the junta.

He did not provide a rationale for this action and stated in his resignation letter that he would continue to be “the undisputed friend of my country’s soldiers.”

Since 2012, the landlocked Sahel nation has been entangled in a security crisis triggered by a regional insurgency erupting in the northern region of the country.

The uprising was fueled by militants who, by 2015, had expanded their influence into the central areas of the country as well as its neighboring nations Burkina Faso and Niger.

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