Africa Weekly: Mali insurgents free hostages | AFP

Malian opposition leader Soumaila Cisse and French and Italian hostages have been freed by jihadist insurgents in Mali after they were kidnapped and held captive — for as long as four years in the case of French aid worker Sophie Petronin. A Kenyan court found two men guilty for their part in aiding Al-Shabaab gunmen who attacked the Westgate mall in Nairobi in 2013 and athletes Joshua Cheptegei and Letesenbet Gidey both smash track records in Valencia, wearing Nike’s controversial Vaporfly shoes.

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Freed French aid worker and top Mali politician land in Bamako | AFP

Frenchwoman Sophie Petronin and Mali politician Soumaila Cisse, who were held captive by presumed jihadists, land in Bamako after being released.

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Hostages freed in Mali: Supporters of top politician Soumaila Cisse wait at airport | AFP

Malian supporters of freed opposition leader Soumaila Cisse wait for his return at Bamako airport after the announcement of his release. Three other hostages, an elderly French aid worker and two Italian captives, are also on a plane from Tessalit (north), where they were freed. All were believed to have been held by jihadists.

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In Mali, Cisse’s supporters protest the result

Hundreds of supporters of Malian opposition leader Soumaïla Cissé protest in the streets of Bamako against the results of the presidential election. It was announced that incumbent president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta has been re-elected for a second mandate with 67,17% of the vote, defeating Cissé who only won 32,83%. Cissé’s party claims the poll was rigged in favor of Keïta. IMAGES

Polls open for second round of Mali presidential election

Polls open for the second round of the Mali presidential election. Malians are called to the ballot box for a presidential runoff likely to see Ibrahim Boubacar Keita return to office despite criticism of his handling of the country’s security crisis. The second round is a rerun of a 2013 faceoff that Keita won by a landslide over former finance minister Soumaila Cisse. IMAGES

Mali: Polls open for the presidential election

Mali heads to the polls with incumbent president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who took office in 2013, and opposition frontrunner Soumaila Cisse expected to be the two main candidates in a field of 24 hopefuls. More than eight million Malians go to the polls in a key electoral test for the fragile Sahel state, battling a wave of ethnic violence and jihadism. IMAGES