Violent Demonstrations Leave 2 Dead in Northern Mali

A checkpoint in Kidal, Mali A checkpoint in Kidal, Mali MINUSMA/Blagoje Grujic

20 April 2016
A violent demonstration in Northern Mali left two dead and four others injured.

On the morning of April 18, a violent demonstration in the region of Kidal erupted when demonstrators equipped with molotov cocktails, broke into the airport runway secured by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and set fire to secured facilities.

Most of the protestors were female, and it is unclear why the women were the main participants in the protest. Security forces fired warning shots and teargas to deter the protestors. The demonstrations were to protest against arrests by French forces of people suspected of having links to Islamist militants operating in the region. However, it is also unclear why they targeted the airstrip. Kidal’s airstrip is essential for providing humanitarian aid, and supporting local communities and the operations of MINUSMA and its partners.

“The Secretary-General urgently calls on all concerned and local leaders, including the leaders of the Coordination des mouvements de L’Azawad to cooperate in defusing tensions and exercising restraint so as to allow for a prompt investigation into the events,” said a statement by the UN Secretary-General’s spokesperson.


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