Mali’s opposition leader and ex-hostage dies with COVID-19

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Malian opposition leader Soumaila Cissé, who was held hostage for six months by jihadists earlier this year and was considered a leading contender for 2022 elections, has died in Paris. Cisse’s family told The Associated Press that he died after contracting COVID-19. The news throws Malian politics into new uncertainty. Cisse was the runner-up in three presidential elections and many thought he had the best chances of winning at last in 2022. He was taken hostage in March while campaigning for legislative elections and released six months later after a controversial prisoner exchange.