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National broadcaster occupied by protestors in Mali, demand for President Keita to step down

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Protestors in Bamako, capital of Mali forced the national broadcaster to go off air as demonstrations get widespread across the country.Some people who were trying to enter the national assembly were stopped as police had to fire shots and tear gas dispersal.

These protests marked third rallies in a month that are calling for stepping down of President Ibrahim Boubakar Keita. The increasing discontent over the present administration on issues like jihadist conflict since many years, economic crisis and disputed legislative elections has grown among people leading to mass protests.

BBC’s regional Africa office reports that the protests has been exponentially increasing in Mali, with thousands of people on the streets of Bamako. Many of them forced their way into the regional national broadcaster ORTM which was then taken off-air.

Roads too have been blocked ad barricades have been set on fire. This also has led to some sporadic incidents of looting. One protestor was killed outside the National Assembly as people tried to make their way into the assembly.

This is third rally since June where people are asking President to resign. Protests started in June when the opposition coalition vetoed and overruled the concessions that were put in by President Keita. These allowances were drafted to put an end to a political stand-off which was over a disputed legislative election back in March.

The opposition though said this week that the call for stepping down of President has been called off, the protests were still continued in order to bring some long-required reforms.

President Keita has received a lot of opposition due to increased jihadist violence and economic crisis in the country. He was re-elected in 2018 securing his second five year term as President. Malians believe that the jihadist acts are behind the increased violence in central and northern part of the country.

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