Accessibility links

Breaking News

Salif Keita Appointed Mali’s Junta 'Special Advisor'

FILE — Salif Keita at VOA during an interview with VOA Afrique, November 6 2019.

BAMAKO — Malian music star Salif Keita was recently appointed "special advisor" to the head of the West African nation’s military junta.

A decree published late Monday and dated August 11 named the West African musician as one of five "special" advisors to Col. Assimi Goita, the head of the military junta.

Goita led the military coup responsible for ousting elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in 2020.

The decree did not give details about Keita’s new role.

The 73-year-old multi-award-winning musician has been a supporter of the junta, endorsing its narrative of national sovereignty and calling for the departure of U.N. peacekeeping troops from Mali.

Keita last week announced stepping down from a junta-appointed legislature but gave no reason for the move, despite pledging allegiance to the military government through his resignation letter.

The West African musician said he would always remain "the undisputed friend" of Mali's soldiers.

Mali has been mired in a security crisis since 2012, when a regional insurgency broke out in the north of the country.

The revolt was fanned by jihadists who in 2015 advanced into the center of the West African nation and in neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.