Mali’s main opposition leader, Soumaila Cisse has died of COVID-19, his family has announced on Friday.
Cisse, a Minister of Finance between 1993 and 2000 died as a result of COVID-19 complications in Paris, the French capital.
His family told AFP he was taken to Europe for better medical care but he gave up the ghost there.
Cisse, a three-time Presidential candidate in 2002, 2013 and 2018 is one of Mali’s top politicians.
On the three occasions he vied to become President, he lost in the second round and has been tipped to someday rule the country.
In March, Cisse was held by jihadists in the Timbuktu region of the country, during a campaign ahead of legislative elections. He was arrested alongside a French woman and two Italians. He wasn’t released until after 6 months.
His release was in exchange for 200 jihadists arrested by the state.
Two of Cisse’s three Presidential election losses came against ousted President Ibrahim Boubakar Keita.
Keita was ousted by a junta in August 2018 with Cisse touted as one of the possible beneficiaries.
Africa currently has more than 2.5m COVID-19 cases with over 60,000 deaths recorded. Some of the human losses recovered have been leaders of governments and top politicians in the continent.
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