During the weekend of 10-12 July 2020, anti-government demonstrations continued daily in Bamako. The recent actions have been more coordinated and planned than prior activities, and are driven by the Mouvement du 5 Juin (M5 Movement). While the level of violence has subsided somewhat since widespread clashes broke out on 10 July, the potential for escalation remains a concern as protests are likely to continue in the near term.
As of 12 July, at least 11 people have been killed and an unknown number injured. In addition, authorities have arrested six M5 Movement leaders; however, unconfirmed reports suggest that the total may be as high as 20.
Protests continued in Bamako on 11 and 12 July when thousands of demonstrators gathered near the Monument de L’Independence, the Badalabougou district and elsewhere throughout the city, and in some cases erected roadblocks and burned tires along major roads and bridges to disrupt traffic. On 12 July protesters reportedly vandalized a building belonging to President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta’s Rally for Mali party and clashed with security forces outside the residence of the president of the Constitutional Court. Sporadic clashes between protesters and riot police — including the deployment of tear gas and the use of live ammunition — occurred elsewhere throughout the weekend.
Shortly after 0000 local time/UTC on 12 July President Keïta announced the “de facto dissolution” of Mali’s Constitutional Court in an effort to end the ongoing protests. Keïta stated he would revoke the government decrees providing for the appointment of judges on the court, amounting to a dissolution of the body. He had previously announced plans to reform the court on 9 July. Court reforms are a key demand of the protesters and opposition politicians.
On 10 July thousands of anti-government protesters gathered outside the National Assembly and other government buildings in Bamako to demand the resignation of President Keïta. Protesters stormed the National Assembly building and temporarily occupied the state-owned television complex, disrupting the broadcast. Additionally, authorities reportedly shut down social media platforms in the country. The demonstrators also blocked transit on the Fahd bridge. Clashes between protesters and riot police left at least three people dead and an unknown number injured. There were also reports of protests and associated clashes in the cities of Kayes, Sikasso and Segou.