Talks to resolve a political crisis in Mali remain at a standstill after military commanders toppled president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in an August 18 coup. West African leaders want power ceded to a civilian government within a year but the ruling junta proposes waiting until 2023. FRANCE 24 met with de facto opposition leader and Imam Mahmoud Dicko, who led the movement to oust Keita.
Many Malians see Mahmoud Dicko, a conservative imam and an important player in mass opposition protests earlier this year, as a possible future leader. But Dicko himself insists he is not a president-in-waiting.
"I know what I do best: lead people in prayer. That is my vocation and, insh'allah, I will remain an imam. I have no ambition to be president of Mali," he told FRANCE 24 reporters who went to meet him.
Dicko said there was no reason not to trust Mali's soldiers but that trust doesn't mean giving them carte blanche to do whatever they wish.
FRANCE 24's Nadia Massih filed this report. Click on the video player above to watch the report in full.