Three killed in anti-government protest in Mali

2016-07-12 20:34
(Souleymane Ag Anara, AFP)

(Souleymane Ag Anara, AFP)

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Bamako - Three demonstrators were killed in northern Mali on Tuesday, a medical source said, in a protest concentrated on a contentious peace accord that Mali has been struggling to enact.

Demonstrators said security forces opened fire when hundreds of young people set off on a banned march in the city of Gao.

A hospital source said by phone that "the latest toll is three dead", with 31 injured.

The protest was linked to the implementation of a year-old peace deal signed by the government, loyalist militias and the Co-ordination of Azawad Movements (CMA), a coalition of rebel groups.

It was aimed at ending unrest in the country's vast desert north, which in 2012 fell under the control of three radical Islamist groups, subsequently plunging the entire country into chaos.

As part of the peace agreement, unelected interim authorities will run the five northern administrative regions until elections can be securely held, while having the same powers as elected officials.

Radical Islamists who took over the north in 2012 were largely ousted by an ongoing French-led military operation launched in January 2013, but continue to attack security forces from desert hideouts.

Mali's government has been unable to maintain security with domestic forces alone, as criminal gangs have also exploited the situation.

Read more on:    cma  |  mali  |  west africa
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