Photo by ANNIE RISEMBERG/AFP via Getty Images

A man cheers during a protest organised by M5-RFP, who are calling for Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign, in Bamako on August 11, 2020. - Protests have been ongoing since June 2020 and M5 has renewed their call for Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign after their leader, Imam Mahmoud Dicko, had earlier abandoned this demand during negotiations

Protests Continue In Mali as Demonstrators Demand the Removal of President Keïta

Current demonstrations are considered the largest in Mali in years.

Protestors have returned to the streets of Bamako, Mali to demand the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.

Demonstrations began in mid-July when Malians—under the banner of the opposition group, the June 5th Movement—demonstrated against a deepening financial crisis, government corruption and conflict stemming from the ongoing separatist movement in the country. Lethal force was used against protesters, resulting in the death of 11 people in clashes with security forces in July, Al Jazeera reports.

The current wave of protests are also tied to an official ruling in April, which overturned the results of parliamentary polls for 31 seats, which led to Keïta's re-election. The president has been office since 2013.

READ: Deep Dive: Protests Movements Across the Continent

Protests paused just a week ago in recognition of Eid, but were reignited on Tuesday when thousands took to Bamako's Independence Square once again, despite pleas from representatives of the Economic Community of West African states (ECOWAS) to remain home. The ECOWAS remain in support of Keïta staying in office.

"Demonstrations do not solve problems per se," said former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, who is the ECOWA's mediator of the current crisis in Mali.

"Encouraging more demonstrations is just exposing young people to big risk," he said. "People could die in the process."

According to an AFP report via France 24, ahead of Jonathan's statements, the June 5th Movement had reportedly rejected proposals from the ECOWA's for a compromise by continuing to push for Keïta's removal.

The ECOWAS have instead suggested the appointment of new judges to the court, and new elections in the 31 areas where parliamentary seats were previously overturned. Opposition leaders have not found these proposals satisfactory.

"We will continue our fight until the end of IBK and of his regime," opposition leader Choguel Maiga told the news outlet.

Current demonstrations are considered the largest political uprising in Mali in recent years, echoing social unrest taking place globally at this moment in time.


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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