The appointment as presidential advisor of Mohamed Ould Matali has triggered controversy in Mali as this influential figure in Northern Mali is under UN sanctions for his alleged links to organized crime.
Mohamed Ould Matali was appointed earlier this week among the seven special advisors picked by the president of the National Transitional Council, the body that acts as legislator during the transition in Mali, after the coup d’état of last August.
Ould Matali’s appointment raised eye brows as he is since 2019 under UN sanctions for his alleged links to organized crime in northern Mali, mainly involvement, via financial interests, in illegal trafficking, although he has always denied the accusations.
Mohamed Ould Matali, a former deputy of the former ruling party, is originally from the Gao region and is reportedly preparing to organize an important community meeting there.
In defense of the appointment, the entourage of Colonel Malick Diaw, president of the CNT, argue that Ould Matali “is a patriot who deserves to be a special advisor to work for Mali.”
With his title of special advisor, the man who is also influential in the armed platform that supports the state is entitled to a diplomatic passport. But he will probably find it difficult to travel, as in addition to the freezing of his assets, the UN sanctions include a ban on travel by scheduled flights.