Country Risk

Malian crackdown on opposition signals growing hardline stance ahead of July presidential election, significantly raising probability of protests

18 January 2018


Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta threatened on 16 January to cut the budget allocation of opposition leader Soumaïla Cissé for criticising the government.

Since the formation of Mali’s new government on 31 December 2017, the security forces have reportedly been ordered to prevent all unauthorised demonstrations, which Cissé’s Union for the Republic and Democracy (Union pour la République et la Démocratie: URD) party described as “repressive” and an attack on democratic freedoms. Several marches by diverse groups, including cotton factory workers, the anti-France ‘Wati Sera’ movement, and the unemployed, have been dispersed over the past week by security forces using tear gas and baton charges.

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