Mali’s leading opposition leader, Soumaila Cisse, has gone missing in a war-torn region where jihadists frequently strike.
In a statement, Cisse’s Union for the Republic and Democracy (URD) party said the politician and his 11-man delegation had gone missing during election campaigning near Niafunke town, in central Mali.
According to the party, none of the group had been reachable since late afternoon on Wednesday when they were expected to reach the village.
The URD referred to the group’s disappearance as a kidnapping, but did not give any more details.
Cisse is a former minister of finance and has run for president of Mali three times.
Vice President of the opposition party Madani Traore says the party has set up a crisis committee while urging the government, military and U.N. peacekeepers to help find the missing group.
Mali’s parliamentary vote was originally scheduled for 2018 but has been pushed back several times because of insecurity.