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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.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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