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Anti-government demonstrations to take place in Mali

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Anti-government demonstrations to take place in Mali

Malian anti government protests in 2016
Photo: Reuters/Souleymane Ag Anara

Malian protesters plan to stage a demonstration today to demand the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Keita has faced mass protests over his failure to end jihadist insurgencies that began in 2012, the slow pace of political reform, and widespread allegations of government corruption. Jihadist violence has continued to escalate over the past year. Keita has recognised the need for new strategies to break the nation’s cycle of violence; in a reversal of long-standing government policy, he expressed willingness to negotiate with jihadist groups in February. In response to June demonstrations that drew tens of thousands of people, he announced his intention to form a new unity government comprised of both incumbent and opposition officials.

Despite promises to reform, Keita has yet to initiate any dialogue with jihadist groups and has a poor record of engagement with the opposition. Although Keita’s recent concessions have raised hopes of an evolved national stance on violence and corruption, the president is unlikely to fulfil his promises. If he continues to renege on agreements, expect continued unrest from both the jihadist insurgencies and protesters until new leadership is elected.

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