Mali president dissolves constitutional court after unrest
Updated 14:18, 12-Jul-2020

Mali's embattled president announced the dissolution of the constitutional court in an attempt to calm the major civil unrest gripping the vulnerable African country. 

The court has been at the center of controversy since it overturned provisional results for a parliamentary poll earlier this year, triggering protests in several cities that on Friday descended into violence.  

Earlier, Malian Prime Minister Boubou Cisse promised to rapidly form a government "open to facing the challenges of the day."

Violence broke out at mass protests in the capital Bamako on Friday demanding President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita resign over a long-running conflict, and economic woes. 

"The president and I remain open to dialogue. I will very quickly set up an executive with the intention of being open to facing the challenges of the day," Cisse said while visiting a hospital.


Demonstrators attacked parliament and ransacked the national television station. 

Cisse has been prime minister since last year and Keita reappointed him on June 11 following parliamentary elections in March and April that sparked a movement calling for Keita to go. 

Months after the elections, the West African country still has no government. 

Keita has increasingly tried to appease a newly formed opposition movement, opening the door to forming a national unity government. 

The opposition has rejected his attempts, insisting he step down. 

Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita poses for a picture during the G5 Sahel summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania, June 30, 2020. /Reuters

Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita poses for a picture during the G5 Sahel summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania, June 30, 2020. /Reuters

Opposition: More leaders arrested 

The country's opposition coalition said security forces detained two leaders of anti-government protests and raided its headquarters on Saturday after violent demonstrations against the president. 

The opposition coalition M5-RFP said Choguel Kokala Maiga and Mountaga Tall, two senior figures in the movement, were detained along with other activists on Saturday. Another protest leader, Issa Kaou Djim, was arrested Friday. 

There was no immediate comment from the Ministry of Security. 

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On Friday, police in Mali fired gunshots and tear gas to try to dislodge protesters demanding the resignation of Keita from occupying the state broadcasting house and parliament.

Mali's neighbors and outside powers fear the impasse could further destabilize the country and jeopardize a joint military campaign against armed groups in the West African Sahel region.

(With input from agencies)