Factbox: Why Mali is in turmoil again
(Reuters) - Military officers took charge in Mali on Wednesday after detaining President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita at gunpoint a day earlier and forcing him to resign and dissolve parliament. The coup followed mass protests that began in June calling on Keita to resign over what opponents said were his failures to restore security and address corruption
(Reuters) - Military officers took charge in Mali on Wednesday after detaining President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita at gunpoint a day earlier and forcing him to resign and dissolve parliament.
The coup followed mass protests that began in June calling on Keita to resign over what opponents said were his failures to restore security and address corruption. Following are details on the origins of the crisis and the risks it poses to the region.
WHAT CAUSED THE PROTESTS?
1. Disputed elections
Political tension has been simmering since Keita won reelection in August 2018 in a poll that opposition parties said was marred by irregularities.
Keita's government pushed ahead with a legislative election in March despite the coronavirus outbreak, increasing jihadi attacks and the kidnapping by unidentified gunmen of Mali's main opposition leader, Soumaila Cisse. He has not been heard of since.
Protesters were angry about a decision by the constitutional court to overturn 31 of the results, handing Keita's party 10 more parliamentary seats and making it the largest bloc.
2. Islamist violence
Mali has struggled to regain stability since 2012, when ethnic Tuareg rebels and loosely aligned jihadists seized the northern two-thirds of the country, leading former colonial power France to intervene to temporarily beat them back.
Attacks have increased in recent months, as militants seek to extend their reach, stocking ethnic tensions around central Mali.
Keita's opponents accused his government of cronyism, pointing to the influence of his son Karim Keita, who stepped down from the powerful position of chairman of parliament's defense and security committee in July. The government denied the accusations.
4. Economic hardship
Mali's economy, which depends on gold and cotton, has been hard-hit by the insurgency and COVID-19 pandemic. Striking teachers joined a protest in June to press demands for promised salary increases.
WHY ARE MALI'S NEIGHBOURS AND ALLIES WORRIED?
1. Regional stability
Groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have used Mali as a launchpad for attacks in neighbouring countries, including Niger and Burkina Faso.
International powers fear the crisis could undermine multi-billion-dollar efforts spearheaded by France to contain the militants.
European leaders worry that prolonged instability in Mali could see more people displaced, fuelling another wave of migration to their shores.
(Compiled by Bate Felix; editing by Philippa Fletcher and Nick Tattersall)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police used teargas and water cannon to disperse people who had gathered in central Athens on Saturday to protest against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. More than 4,000 people rallied outside the Greek parliament for a third time this month to oppose mandatory inoculations for some workers, such as healthcare and nursing staff.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Two Turkish soldiers were killed and two were wounded in an attack on their armoured vehicle in northern Syria, and Turkish forces immediately launched retaliatory fire, Turkey's defence ministry said on Saturday. "Our punitive fire against terrorist positions is continuing," the statement on Twitter on said. It did not specify where the attack occurred, but media reports said it was in the al-Bab area.
By Marcelo Rochabrun SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Protesters took to the streets in several Brazilian cities on Saturday to demand the impeachment of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, whose popularity has fallen in recent weeks amid corruption scandals against the backdrop of the pandemic. This week, news broke that Brazil's defense ministry told congressional leadership that next year's elections would not take place without amending the country's electronic voting system to include a paper trail of each vote. Bolsonaro has suggested several times without evidence that the current system is prone to fraud, allegations that Brazil's government has denied