Mali demonstrators call for clean elections

2018-06-08 19:29


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Thousands of people marched peacefully through Mali's capital on Friday to call for clean presidential elections next month, AFP journalists said, after recent violent protests.

The West African country's opposition, which organised the rally in the capital Bamako, said it had attracted up to 300 000 people, but local reports put the figure at 10 000 to 20 000, all of whom dispersed without incident afterwards.

Earlier this week the European Union urged the government to respect "freedom of expression" and "show restraint" after dozens of people were hurt in banned opposition protests.

The United Nations similarly called for calm.

"We turned up to call for transparent elections and equal access to state media, and also to denounce current government policy," opposition leader Soumaila Cisse told AFP.

Cisse, 68, who lost in 2013, is one of some 15 candidates running against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, 73, who is seeking a second term in the July 29 election.

After the recent violence, the UN and the African Union brokered a deal with the government to allow Friday's march.

"No to fraud" and "Equal access to national radio and TV" read two banners at the rally.

"The mark is not only to demand clean elections and equal media access. It is also to denounce the regime, the cost of living and corruption," one demonstrator, Mahamane Toure, 51, said.

Mali has been badly hit by an Islamist insurgency in the north which has spread south and into neighbouring countries Burkina Faso and Niger despite peace efforts.

France, the former colonial overseer, intervened militarily in Mali in 2013 to help government forces combat al-Qaeda-linked jihadists.

The election campaign is due to begin July 7.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    un  |  eu  |  mali  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

HSE Manager

Cape Town
Tumaini Consulting
R550 000.00 - R650 000.00 Per Year

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.