Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta on Saturday night announced a “de facto dissolution” of the Constitutional Court, while almost rebellious tensions have raged in the capital Bamako for two days.
Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta announced on Saturday night the “de facto dissolution” of the Constitutional Court in an attempt to disperse the almost rebellious tensions that raged in Bamako for the second day in a row.
The capital was once again the victim of clashes that continued to intensify in the evening, following the worst day of civil unrest that Bamako had known in several years.
The arrest since Friday night of several of the main leaders in a dispute directly addressed to the head of state has not dispelled the fever in a city normally preserved by the jihadist and the violence between the society that mourns the north and the middle of the country.
Bamako under high voltage
Several neighborhoods have seen men set up roadblocks, extinguish tires and carry out damage, for example in the premises of the High Council of Communities.
The atmosphere was electric around the mosque where Imam Mahmoud Dicko preaches, a religious figure who has been listened to a lot, is considered the inspiration for the protest. In an atmosphere that benefits all rumors, his followers apparently feared that the Imam would also be arrested and collided with the security forces.
They responded to live ammunition and seriously injured several men in accordance with the entourage of the imam who published pictures of the injured.
No human tolls on the day on Saturday were released while Friday left at least three dead and dozens injured.
In addition to President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, whose challenge calls for resignation, the Constitutional Court has focused anger as it annulled about thirty results of the March-April legislative elections.
The dismissal of its nine judges was among the demands of the heterogeneous coalition, consisting of religious leaders and personalities from the political world and civil society, which orchestrates mobilization.
In a short, low-key television address, the fourth in just one month, the head of state said he would revoke the decree appointing the remaining judges, which he said amounts to a “de facto dissolution”.
The new judgments should be promptly appointed, which should pave the way for partial legislative elections in those districts whose results the Constitutional Court annulled.
Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, 75, president since 2013 and re-elected in 2018, promised that those responsible for the violence would be punished. But he also reiterated his call for dialogue, assuring that the next government to be formed would be “consensus, composed of Republican and patriotic leaders and not tugs and rioters of the country.”
Since the onset of the crisis, however, none of the president’s violations, including the offer of a government of national unity, have provoked protests, which in turn took the most violent on Friday, with attacks on such prominent symbols of power as parliament and national television, and security forces’ live fire.
For the third time in just over a month, the so-called June 5 movement had sent thousands of Malays on the streets to demand the president’s resignation.
But this time, the movement, frustrated by the president’s successive response, had decided to be included in “civil disobedience”, but peacefully according to him.
This escalation with unpredictable results saved for several weeks worried Mali’s allies, worried about another destabilizing element of a country facing jihadism and a series of major challenges, in a region itself plagued.
“We remain mobilized as repression strengthens our determination and we will continue with our vow until the end of the IBK regime, which is a cancer for the whole of Mali,” coalition spokesman KaouAbdramaneDiallo said before the head of state’s intervention in the evening.
The movement channels a lot of dissatisfaction in one of the poorest countries in the world: dissatisfaction with the deterioration of security and the inability to face it after years of violence, the economic downturn, the failure of government services, or the widespread discredit of institutions suspected of corruption.