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Mali Convulsed in Anti-Government, Anti-lockdown Protest, Increasingly Violent, Numerous Deaths

Updated: Nov 19, 2021 The Coordination of Movements, Associations, and Sympathizers of Mahmoud Dicko (CMAS) - the principale opposition group in Mali has called on supporters to demonstrate in Bamako on Tuesday, August 11, to call for the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita over his handling of ethnic violence and militant activity in Mali.

Protests in Mali have previously turned violent and resulted in clashes between demonstrators and security forces, the burning of tires, barricades on bridges and roads. Security forces have at times used live ammunition in addition to tear gas using to disperse crowds. Dozens of protesters have been reported killed over the course of the last two-three months. Associated business and transportation disruptions, as well as a heightened security presence, are to be anticipated near all demonstration sites and the utmost caution is advised.

Anti-government protests have been reported across the country, notably in Bamako, Sikasso, Bougouni, Kati, Yanfolila, Mopti, and Nioro since May. The legislative elections in March gave a majority to President Keïta with the ruling Rassemblement pour le Mali (RPM) party winning 51 out of the 147 seats at the National Assembly. According to protesters, however, the results released on April 30 by the Constitutional Court do not match initial results released by the Ministry of the Territorial Administration, in which the ruling party won only 43 seats, far from the majority needed to continue to dominated the country.

Grave security issues became worse over the course of the last decade in Mali which has been the scene of a large Al Qaeda presence seeking to establish a permanent foothold and attracting the attention of Western militaries. It is feared that the Western investment in Mali's military forces is now going to repress then people rather than fight Al Qaeda.

The political crisis has been aggravated by protest against the coronavirus lockdown as well as the widespread public opinion that the government is using the pandemic to solidify its power, especially since President Keita refuses to respect the constitution's presidential 2 years office limit, seeking a third term.

Daily mixed protest - for and against the government and the lockdown measures (mostly against on both counts).

President Keita seeking third term in office in violation of the constitution

Hungry, and running from police.

Mali's poverty has taken over the streets (July, 2020).

A Child protester. Is there a future for him and others like him in Mali?

Work of al-Qaida North African Branch.

On patrols for al-Qaida or for protesters?