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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
Photo: Lex Ash (@thelexash). Courtesy of Simi.

Interview: Simi Is Taking Risks

Nigerian star Simi talks about the successes & risks of this year, her thoughts on the #EndSARS protests, and how her husband, Adekunle Gold, inspired Restless II.

Simi is restless. It has nothing to do with the year she has had, in fact, she reaffirmed her status as one of Nigeria's most successful musicians with a single music drop, "Duduke," which enjoyed widespread appeal as the nation went into lockdown earlier in the year.

The 32-year-old singer's restlessness is a reflection of the organised chaos that has defined her recording process this year as she combined the rigours of being an expectant mother with an examination of her place in the wider world. It, more accurately, reflects her re-negotiation of the parameters of her stardom.

"I've never really been a big fan of the spotlight," she whispers silently early in our Zoom conversation. "I know that it comes with the territory, but when I got my big break and more people started to recognise me, I realised that I had to edit myself, my life, and most of the things that I'd do or say because I wanted to be careful to keep a part of me for myself."

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