Prime minister’s ally sentenced for criticizing Mali junta

A Bamako court on Monday sentenced a close ally of Mali’s civilian Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga to a year in prison.

The ally, Boubacar Traore, faced charges after signing a document openly critical of the ruling junta, an AFP journalist said.

Traore was detained on May 28 after signing a statement strongly opposing the military’s plan to remain in power for several more years.

The document, published by the M5-RFP movement, has caused significant tension.

This statement is seen as marking a significant breakdown in relations between the colonels and Prime Minister Maiga, who endorsed it.

Despite this, Maiga has managed to keep his position in the government for now.

The Bamako court’s cybercrime unit sentenced Traore for “undermining the credit of the state,” disseminating false information likely to disturb public peace, and contempt of court.

He is among several public figures punished for criticizing the junta.

Under military rulers, expressions of opposition have become rare.

Ten opponents were jailed in June for “conspiring against the legal authorities” after demanding a return to civilian rule.

Former justice minister Mohamed Ali Bathily was briefly released but detained again on Friday.

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