Thousands in Mali Capital protests against President Keita’s reign


Thousands of protesters took to the street of Mali on Friday, there were reports of a heavy security presence outside the presidential palace as the protesters began surrounding it.
Some demonstrators waved banners bearing slogans such as “IBK, get out”, using the acronym by which the president is popularly known while others had banners demanding the release of Soumaila Cisse, a former prime minister and opposition leader who was kidnapped by armed men in volatile central Mali on March 25 while campaigning for an upcoming parliamentary election.
Mali’s newly formed opposition alliance, which includes the main opposition parties as well as civil society groups, organised Friday’s demonstration.
Led by influential Muslim leader Mahmoud Dicko, the alliance has called Keita’s government “chaotic” and has accused it of failing to tackle worsening security in the country and fixing its economy.
Dicko who is a prominent imam who used to be close to Keita, before he entered politics a few months ago.
Keita was first elected in 2013, and won a second five-year term again in 2018.
During his time in office, the government has struggled to quell the violence that first broke out in northern Mali in 2012, and which has killed thousands of soldiers and civilians to date.
The conflict has since spread to the centre of the country, as well as neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger. According to the United Nations, attacks have increased fivefold in the three countries since 2016, with more than 4,000 persons reportedly killed in 2019 and with about four million people displaced already. Africa-News reports.


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