Mali Crisis:West African Leaders Continue Summit Over Anti-Keita Protest.

West African leaders begin an effective summit on Monday after two impasse efforts this month were held on Mali’s deepening political crisis, officials said.

Heads of countries in the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States, of which Mali is a member, are to discuss ways to defuse tensions between the opposition and President Ibrahim Keita.

Anti-Keita protests on July 10 spiralled into clashes, leaving 11 dead, in the worst bout of political unrest Mali has seen in years.

Keita, who came to power in 2013, has come under increasing pressure to end Mali’s long-running jihadist conflict.

The poor nation of some 20 million people has been struggling to contain an insurgency that has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes since 2012, despite the presence of foreign troops.

In the latest violence, a French soldier was killed and two others were wounded in a suicide car bomb attack in northern Mali on Thursday, according to France’s presidency and the French army.

But much of the current tension was sparked in April, when the constitutional court tossed out 31 results from the parliamentary elections, benefiting Keita’s party and sparking protests.

Tensions then ratcheted up into a crisis on July 10 when an anti-Keita rally organised by the June 5 Movement turned violent.

Three days of clashes between protesters and security forces left 11 dead and 158 injured in the worst political unrest Mali had seen in years.

Seeking a way out, ECOWAS mediators suggested forming a new unity government including opposition members and appointing new constitutional court judges who could potentially re-examine disputed election results.

But the June 5 Movement had already rejected any outcome that did not involve Keita’s departure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *