Several Malian opposition figures were arrested on Saturday, the day after a day of mobilization with each other in a near-insurgency that left four dead. The Malian Prime Minister has stated that he wants to form an “open government” very quickly.
The threat of an escalation of violence continued to hang over Mali on Saturday, July 11, with police and opposition arrests the day after a mobilization day marked by violent intrusions at national television headquarters and parliament.
After Issa Kaou Djim and Clément Dembélé the day before, two other leaders of the so-called June 5 movement, Choguel Maïga and Mountaga Tall, were arrested, as well as two men described as thinking heads, Oumara Diarra and Adama Ben Diarra, by the forces officials, officials and witnesses quoted by AFP said.
The authorities have been silent on these operations.
Bamako under high voltage
At the same time, the city that still bore scars on Friday remained the scene of clashes and incidents that maintained a climate of great nervousness and uncertainty about the future.
These incidents continued to intensify as the evening approached, groups of young people continued to erect roadblocks, throw stones and challenge the security forces.
Anti-rebel forces mounted on pickups and supported by an armored vehicle scattered with tear gas, about 150 young people gathered in the Badalabougou district near one of the three bridges connecting the two parts of Bamako on and across the Niger River, an AFP journalist said.
Security forces also targeted CMAS headquarters, an opposition movement led by the influential Imam Mahmoud Dicko, a coalition member on June 5, according to Reuters.
“While our activists were in a meeting, they came and attacked and looted our headquarters,” said coalition spokesman Nouhoum Togo.
#Bamako This morning in Faso Kanu, 4 vehicles from the security forces, Forsat, searched twice at CMAS’s premises. They were looking for weapons. SDS tracked young people on motorcycles. Rökskott. Barrages of fortunes erected. Burning deck. #Mali pic.twitter.com/dA2R6oXk7l
– Olivier Dubois (@LolivDubois) July 11, 2020
Power symbols directed by the opposition
These police actions followed the violent demonstrations against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, which led to a temporary occupation of public television and parliament premises.
At least four people have been killed and dozens injured in clashes, according to Prime Minister Boubou Cissé. The latter promised on Saturday to “very quickly” form an open government.
To read on France24.com: who is Mahmoud Dicko, the stern imam who makes the power shake?
Mali is undergoing a period of tension since the March parliamentary elections, which aggravates an already sensitive situation given the presence of jihadists.
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, re-elected for five years in 2018, said he was “open” on Wednesday for the formation of a national unity government and the dissolution of the assembly provided it does not cause another crisis, but his opponents have rejected these concessions and demand his departure.
With AFP and Reuters