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Photo by MICHELE CATTANI / AFP for Getty Images.

Protesters set barricades to block the circulation on the Martyrs bridge of Bamako on July 11, 2020.

Malian Government Condemned For Lethal Force Used Against Protesters

At least 11 protesters have been killed in the ongoing mass demonstrations calling for the resignation of Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

The Malian government has recently been condemned by regional and international bodies for the use of lethal force by security forces against protesters this past weekend. At least 11 people have been killed in the ongoing mass demonstrations collectively calling for political reforms and the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.


READ: Malians Heading to Voting Polls Despite Coronavirus Outbreak.

The political crisis in the Western country continues to deepen. This past weekend, a bloody protest erupted in Bamako where security forces fired live rounds in an attempt to disperse protesters—some of whom had occupied state buildings according to Aljazeera. Footage captured some of the protesters erecting barricades with burning tyres to block a main road. The same group of protesters were also seen attempting to take over two main bridges in the city which subsequently led to the clashes with security forces.

The representatives of the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU) and African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) released a statement this past weekend on Sunday condemning the use of force on the protesters and urging dialogue.

President Keita, who has been in power since 2013, has not yet resigned despite the mounting public discontent over a perceived failure to address the country's security and economic problems, Reuters reports. His son has, however, recently stepped down from his position as head of parliament's defence committee according to CNN.

Additionally, approximately 20 opposition figures and protest leaders have since been released from prison by Malian authorities. The West African country has been engulfed by conflict since 2012 and 600 civilians have been killed thus far this year.

Interview

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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