In Bamako, the June 5 Movement – Rally of Patriotic Forces (French acronym M5-RFP) organized its third mass rally calling for the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (IBK). My previous writing on the protest movement and previous rallies can be found, in chronological order from earliest to most recent, here, here, here, and here. For today I will simply round up the latest coverage rather than doing a sustained analysis.
- IBK addressed the nation on 8 July, before the third protest; on 10 July, following the protest; and on 11 July, following a day of contestation and several protesters’ deaths. The last address was the most important one, in which IBK pledged to:
- dismiss the remaining members of the Constitutional Court;
- implement the other recommendations made by a delegation from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that visited Bamako from 18-20 June;
- put in place a “consensus-based government team, composed of republican and patriotic leaders and not the breakers and demolishers of the country.”
- On 11 July, Prime Minister Boubou Cissé visited several sites in Bamako in an effort to lower the political temperature – he visited injured protesters at the Gabriel Touré hospital, and also met staff from ORTM, Mali’s national broadcaster, whose headquarters had been occupied by demonstrators.
- The M5-RFP’s declaration from 11 July can be found here. They accuse security forces, directed by the president, of committing a range of repressive and destructive acts against the movement, its leaders, and its offices. The declaration also reiterates the group’s call for IBK’s resignation. A major M5-RFP leader, Cheick Oumar Sissoko, put out a similar statement on 12 July. Reuters’ coverage of the arrests and the deaths of at least three protesters can be found here.
- Anna Schmauder rounded up a number of important pieces here. She and Andrew Lebovich have each also compiled vital lists of journalists and analysts to follow.
- Mohamed Salaha and Philip Kleinfeld wrote a nice explainer for the New Humanitarian.
- Mucahid Durmaz at the Mail & Guardian looks at the career of Imam Mahmoud Dicko and his role in the protests.
- A more sensationalist take on Dicko, which suggests among other possibilities that Dicko could become the “Malian Khomeini,” has elicited a lot of commentary and derision. Parts of the piece are actually decent, and captures part of Dicko’s appeal, but there are also factual errors (these protests do not mark Dicko’s entry into Malian politics, for example) and some interpretations that I think are off-base.
- The Journal du Mali has a brief profile of Dicko’s right-hand man Issa Kaou N’djim, who is also a key M5-RFP leader.
- Dicko’s mosque in Bamako’s Badalabougou quarter has become a key site of assembly and conflict. On 12 July, M5-RFP supporters gathered again there for an address by Dicko and to commemorate the dead. Counts of how many protesters have died vary considerably. More on the events in Badalabougou here.
- France 24 (French): “Anger Simmers in Bamako Despite Imam Dicko’s Calls for Calm”
- Netblocks (h/t Ousmane Diallo) reported that “social media and messaging apps were partially blocked in Mali on Friday 10 July 2020 amid mass protests.”
- TV5Monde has a video report on the 31 “despoiled deputies” whose elections were overturned by the Constitutional Court.
- The protests remain an overwhelmingly Bamako-centric phenomenon, but Sahelien has some coverage from Kayes.
Finally, I tried out my first Twitter poll: