Embattled Mali president dissolves top court amid protests

Mali’s embattled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on Saturday announced the dissolution of the constitutional court in an attempt to calm civil unrest that has gripped the country.

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

Keita in an address said: “... I have decided to repeal the licences of the remaining members of the constitutional court and to move towards the implementation of the recommendations of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).”

Clashes raged again in the capital Bamako on Saturday as demonstrators angered by a long-running conflict, economic woes and perceived government corruption demanded Keita’s resignation.

The president noted he is fully committed to a dialogue with the opposition to resolve the crisis. “I will continue to favour dialogue with all the active forces of the nation, for the establishment of a consensual government team composed of republican and patriotic cadres, and not the breakers and demolishers of the country. Mali deserves better than that,” he added.

Mali’s opposition coalition accused security forces of detaining two leaders of the anti-government protests and raided its headquarters on Saturday.