Malian Singer Rokia Traoré Arrested in Italy For ‘Kidnapping’ Her Own Daughter And Taking Her ‘Hostage’

Rokia Traoré

Source: Africa Publicity

A Malian musician, Rokia Traoré, has reportedly been arrested in Italy where she was scheduled to perform at a concert.

According to local media reports in Italy, Rokia Traoré, also known as the woman-on-the-guitar, was billed to perform at a concert titled “Venus en musique” inside the archaeological park of the Colosseum.

Rokia Traoré

However, she could not even enter the Roman temple doors due to her arrest, reports say.

According to reports, Italian authorities arrested her on the charge of not complying with a court ruling that granted exclusive custody of her daughter to her Belgian father. The ruling, dating back to 2019, had been challenged in appeal by Rokia Traoré, who had since significantly reduced her trips to Europe.

During her border check, the Italian carabiniers reportedly discovered that the Malian singer was under a European arrest warrant.


The child custody case dates back to 2019 and is between the Malian singer and her ex-Belgian partner, theaterman and former director of the Marseille festival, Jan Goosens. At the heart of their conflict is the guardianship of their daughter (a minor) who lives with her mother in Mali. This situation has led to legal proceedings against Rokia Traoré in Belgium, where European justice accuses her of “kidnapping, seizure and hostage-taking”. A complex and controversial case that continues to attract media and legal attention.

Jan Goosens and Rokia Traoré
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