Anger brews in Bamako despite demands for calm from Imam Dicko

Several districts in Bamako were still shaken by spontaneous rallies, on Sunday, a few hours after the call for calm launched by the imam at the coalition leader and demanded a change of power in Mali.

The distance between the Malian government and supporters of the opposition coalition continued on the streets of Bamako on Sunday, July 12, despite calls for calm launched in the afternoon by Imam Mahmoud Dicko. The latter, a central figure in the so-called June 5 opposition coalition, had urged its supporters not to “fall into the trap of violence” after two days of bloody unrest.

AFP correspondents in Bamako, however, reported spontaneous groupings of hundreds of people on the street, while major roads were cut by roadblocks or burned tires. A court and a district headquarters for the presidential party, symbols of power, were also searched, according to the same sources.

No direct confrontation between Bamakois and security forces firing live ammunition as in previous days, but a fleeting situation filled with threats.

In the Badalabougou district, an uncertain calm has returned. Hundreds of worshipers gathered in the large hall with green columns in the mosque and outside for burials of four deceased.At least seven dead in clashes

It was around the mosque that the bloodiest clashes took place on Saturday night. The mosque is the one where Imam Mahmoud Dicko and his followers preach have turned the area into an anchored camp, worried that the security forces will arrest him as the other leader of the protest since Friday.

Since Friday, at least seven people have been killed, according to hospital sources. Imam Dickos camp reports a much heavier toll.

The Imam’s course aired videos similar to war pictures of the events on Saturday night.

They show at least two visibly dead men bathed in blood and others punctured by projectiles, as well as a large confusion of men agitated in the mosque complex according to Mr. Dickos entourage. Shots are fired at a distance in normal jerks without the shooters being identified.

“You kill the males, in the mosque, (with) live ammunition. The mosque is on fire,” exclaims a man in one of these videos who could not be independently identified by the AFP.

The Imam, a well-to-do national personality and power path, demanded calm.

“I urge the Malian youth once again to exercise restraint and calm,” he told an AFP correspondent.

“The fight continues”, for “refund” of Mali and against “the endemic corruption that is currently getting our country on its knees”, he added, but it must continue “in patience” and “good manners”.

What a mistake it is

The capital, which is normally preserved by jihadists and violence between the community mourning the north and the center of the country, has been the victim of its most serious civil unrest since Friday.

Tensions have intensified since the March-April parliamentary elections. A heterogeneous coalition of religious leaders, personalities from the political world and civil society has gathered around Imam Dicko to protest.

This so-called June 5 movement channels a great deal of discontent in one of the poorest countries in the world: against the collapse of security and the inability to face it, the economic downturn, the failure of the state or the extensive discredit of institutions suspected of corruption.

On Friday, the move included his words in “civil disobedience,” frustrated by the president’s successive response to radical demands: the dissolution of parliament, the departure of judges at the Constitutional Court, the formation of a government he would appoint the prime minister and finally the departure of the president.

The movement claims to be peaceful and accuses the power of violence.

Worried allies and neighbors

Leaders who have not been arrested seem to be hiding. The movement’s continued control of the challenge is not clear, and the long-term effect of the call for restraint is being launched by Imam Dicko.

The Constitutional Court’s decision on annulment of approximately thirty legislative results is seen as a trigger for the challenge.

On Saturday night, in his fourth speech in a month, the head of state announced the dissolution of the court. It also paved the way for partial legislative elections where the court annulled the findings, following the recommendations of a commissioned by good offices of West African states.

The current escalation is truly disturbing to Mali’s allies, concerned about a more destabilizing element in a country facing jihadism and a series of major challenges, in a region that is itself plagued.

None of Keytas, 75 years president since 2013, has so far lost the fever, on the contrary.

With AFP