MAY 19, 2020

In honor of Ramadan, Rev. Jackson calls for the release of Malian opposition leader Soumaila Cisse


Chicago, IL: During this holy observance of Ramadan, I am urgently appealing for the immediate release of Mr. Soumaila Cisse who has been held hostage for almost two months.


I urge H.E. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of the Republic of Mali, and community and religious leaders, to work together and redouble their efforts to secure the peaceful release of Mr. Cisse.


One can only imagine the agony the Cisse family is going through on a daily basis not knowing the welfare of their father and husband especially during the Coronavirus pandemic. Words cannot express their sorrow.


To those holding Mr. Cisse hostage, I appeal to you to release him to be reunited with his beloved family and friends.  It is my hope that, in respect to the lessons of the example of the Prophet Mohammed, the spirit of Islamic kindness, mercy and compassion, you will hasten the release Mr. Cisse.


In the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan, a time for reconciliation, forgiveness, and compassion, I hope that those holding Mr. Cisse captive, the President of Mali, community and religious leaders will heed my moral appeal and work urgently together to secure the freedom of Mr. Cisse.


Mali’s glorious history is one of Africa’s foremost example of civilization and excellence.  Malians, and their friends worldwide, have a responsibility to sustain this inspiring legacy.  I am confident that Malians will unite, continue building their country and, in honor of its ancestors, let this legacy shine brilliantly again.


To achieve this, Mali needs to revive its great culture of dialogue and peace, which begins with acts of compassion.  Releasing Mr. Cisse would be a high gesture of humanitarianism especially during the holy month of Ramadan.


I am available to assist in anyway possible. I am also convinced that we must choose co-existence and hope, over fear and co-annihilation. We must seize this moment to remove walls and barriers, and build new bridges of understanding and dialogue.


In the Name of the Almighty, I wish the beloved people of Mali, Eid Mubarak in advance.


Keep Hope Alive!



Media Contacts:
Chinta Strausberg
James Gomez


Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizations he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.