Five Soldiers Killed In Mali Twin Attacks

Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa.
Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa.

 

 

 

At least five soldiers were killed and five were wounded on Sunday in twin attacks blamed on jihadists in central Mali, army and local sources said.

A military convoy was ambushed en route from the village of Goma-Coura to Diabaly town, a local elected official told AFP while requesting anonymity.

He said four pickup trucks and an armoured vehicle were missing after the attack.

Simultaneously, a camp at Goma-Coura came under artillery fire, the army said in a statement posted on its Twitter account, which also reported the ambush.

Some vehicles were destroyed, it said, adding that casualties on the “enemy” side were not yet known.

An ambush on a military convoy blamed on jihadists, also in central Mali, left 24 soldiers dead on June 15.

Jihadists unleashed a revolt in northern Mali in 2012 that has since spread to the centre of the poor Sahel country and to Burkina Faso and Niger despite the presence of thousands of French and UN troops.

AFP

Mali Opposition Rejects ECOWAS Plan, Insists President Keita Quit

(From L) Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria, President Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger, Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana and Macky Sall, President of Senegal deliver a speech after a meeting in Bamako on July 23, 2020 as West African leaders gather in a fresh push to end an escalating political crisis in the fragile state of Mali. (Photo by MICHELE CATTANI / AFP)

 

 

A protest movement that has sprung up in Mali, shaking President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s grip on power, on Tuesday rejected a compromise put forward by regional leaders and insisted that he quit.

In a statement, the so-called June 5 Movement said it “demands the resignation of Mr. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and his regime more than ever,” accusing them of bearing “full responsibility” for Mali’s crisis.

The announcement came a day after heads of the 15-nation West African bloc ECOWAS stood by Keita and urged him to forge a unity government and resolve an election dispute that has fuelled the protests.

 

 

-AFP

We’ll Do All To Resolve Political Crisis In Mali – ECOWAS Chairman

Issoufou
President of Niger Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou (File photo)

 

Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, President Mahamadou Issoufou said the sub-regional organisation will do all it can to mitigate the political crisis in Mali, after many hours of consultations in the nation’s capital, Bamako, on Thursday.

The meeting, attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, Host President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Presidents Machy Sall of Senegal, Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire, listened to a brief by the ECOWAS Special Envoy, former President Goodluck Jonathan, and leader of the opposition, Imam Mahmoud Dicko and representatives of the opposition alliance, M5 and Civil Society Organisations.

The host President also briefed the Heads of State and government on the socio-political situation in the country, especially the disagreements that spiralled into protests and violence.

READ ALSO: Mali Mediators Call For Power-Sharing Govt To End Crisis

Speaking to newsmen on the outcome of the meeting, Issoufou, who is the President of Niger Republic, said an extra-ordinary virtual meeting of ECOWAS Heads of State and government will be held on Monday 26 July 2020, to further deliberate on the issues raised, with a view to finding a lasting solution to the crisis.

He said the sub-regional leaders had already agreed there would be a  need for a compromise to protect the peace and integrity of the nation, adding that allowing a political crisis to fester in Mali would affect the security situation in West Africa, especially neighbouring countries.

The ECOWAS Chairman commended Nigeria’s former President, Jonathan, for accepting to lead an initial mission to the country to broker peace, and make findings, while appreciating all the West African leaders who attended the meeting.

Earlier, the Ghanaian President said that the ECOWAS protocol would be followed, explaining that the democratic tenet adopted by the sub-regional body clearly spells out that a President can only be voted into power, and voted out by-election, except he completes his tenure.

The Ghanaian leader noted that the protocol would be adhered to to ensure safety and peace in the sub-region.

Buhari Arrives In Mali On Peace Mission

President Muhammadu Buhari paid a one-day visit to Mali on July 23, 2020.
President Muhammadu Buhari paid a one-day visit to Mali on July 23, 2020.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in Mali on a one-day visit aimed at finding a political solution to the crisis in the country.

The President’s arrival was confirmed in a tweet by his personal assistant on new media, Mr Bashir Ahmad.

According to an earlier statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Femi Adesina, Buhari’s planned visit followed the briefing by the ECOWAS Special Envoy to the country, former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The statement adds that President Buhari and the ECOWAS Chairman, President Issoufou Mahamadou of Niger Republic had already agreed to meet in Mali to engage in further consultations towards finding a political solution to the crisis in the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari paid a one-day visit to Mali on July 23, 2020.
President Muhammadu Buhari paid a one-day visit to Mali on July 23, 2020.

The two leaders are expected to be joined by the Host President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Presidents Machy Sall of Senegal, Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire respectively.

“We will ask the President of Niger, who is the Chairman of ECOWAS to brief us as a group, and we will then know the way forward,” President Buhari was quoted as saying.

READ ALSO: Jonathan Briefs Buhari About Peace Mission To Mali

President Muhammadu Buhari paid a one-day visit to Mali on July 23, 2020.
President Muhammadu Buhari paid a one-day visit to Mali on July 23, 2020.

 

President Buhari To Visit Crisis-Hit Mali On Peace Mission Tomorrow

 

President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday depart for Bamako, the Republic of Mali on a one-day visit.

This is according to a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Femi Adesina.

Buhari’s planned visit followed the briefing by the ECOWAS Special Envoy to the country, former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The statement adds that President Buhari and the ECOWAS Chairman, President Issoufou Mahamadou of Niger Republic had already agreed to meet in Mali to engage in further consultations towards finding a political solution to the crisis in the country.

The two leaders are expected to be joined by the Host President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Presidents Machy Sall of Senegal, Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire respectively.

“We will ask the President of Niger, who is the Chairman of ECOWAS to brief us as a group, and we will then know the way forward,” President Buhari was quoted as saying.

Earlier, Jonathan in the company of President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, on Tuesday briefed President Buhari on the unfolding situation in Mali, necessitating the visit of ECOWAS leaders to consolidate on the agreements reached by various parties.

The former President had filled in President Buhari on his activities as Special Envoy to restore amity to Mali, rocked by protests against President Keita, who has spent two out of the five years, the second term in office.

A resistance group, M5, is insisting that the Constitutional Court must be dissolved and that the President should resign before peace can return to the country.

The crisis had erupted after the court nullified results of 31 parliamentary seats in the polls held recently, awarding victory to some other contenders, which the resistance group said was at the instigation of President Keita.

Riots on July 10 had led to the killing of some protesters by security agents, causing the crisis to spiral out of control, hence the intervention by ECOWAS.

Mali Mediators Call For Power-Sharing Govt To End Crisis

Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa and the eighth-largest country in Africa
Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa and the eighth-largest country in Africa

 

 

West African mediators trying to resolve Mali’s political crisis on Sunday called for a power-sharing government and a new constitutional court in their latest bid to calm tensions.

The country is in the grip of a political impasse between President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, and a newly-galvanised opposition which is intent on his resignation.

At least 11 people died over three days of unrest last week following an anti-Keita protest, in the worst political unrest the West African state has seen in years.

After days of talks with the government and the opposition, mediators from the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States proposed that the current ruling coalition make up 50 percent of a new unity government.

A proposed 30 percent should be members of the opposition and the remaining 20 percent from civil-society groups.

The mediators also suggested appointing new judges to the country’s constitutional court, to resolve a dispute over the March-April parliamentary election.

ECOWAS mediators — led by former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan — finished their mission on Sunday, after having landed in the country on Wednesday.

On Friday, however, Mali’s main opposition alliance spurned an offer from the mediators and stuck to its demand that Keita resign.

The June 5 Movement has triggered a show-down with the government over its unflinching demands that Keita quit for perceived failures in tackling the dire economy and Mali’s eight-year jihadist conflict.

At a news conference in the capital Bamako on Sunday, Jonathan told reporters that it was not within the remit of ECOWAS to seek Keita’s resignation.

“We met with the M5 four times and we couldn’t resolve our differences,” he said, referring to the June 5 Movement.

AFP

ECOWAS Seek To Mediate In Mali Crisis

The representatives are from the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
The representatives are from the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

 

 

Envoys from Mali’s neighbours led by former President Goodluck Jonathan were scheduled to arrive in Bamako on Wednesday in a bid to mediate in an escalating political crisis ahead of new high-risk protests.

Representatives from the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are having to bridge apparently irreconcilable differences between President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and a protest movement that is demanding his resignation.

Fresh protests have been set for Friday, a week after demonstrations that ignited three days of clashes with the security forces, leaving 11 dead and 158 injured, according to an official tally — Mali’s bloodiest toll from political unrest in years.

The so-called June 5 Movement, an alliance of political, social and civil-society leaders gathered around a powerful imam named Mahmoud Dicko, is tapping into deep-seated anger.

Malians are worried and frustrated by an eight-year-old jihadist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes and swept into Niger and Burkina Faso.

Many are also incensed at perceived government corruption and the outcome of long-delayed parliamentary elections in March and April that handed victory to Keita’s party.

A rally on Friday will be a “ceremony of sacrifice and of prayer” for protest victims, opposition leader Mountaga Tall told reporters on Tuesday after opposition figures were released after several days in detention.

“He who asked for us to get killed is no longer our president,” he said.

“We are convinced that President IBK has neither the intellectual nor the physical capacity to lead the country,” he said, referring to the head of state by his initials.

Several barricades were set up in the capital Bamako after he spoke, and some tyres were burned, but otherwise the city was calm on Wednesday.

Keita’s office said that the ECOWAS delegation would include constitutional experts.

One of the potential solutions being explored by the authorities is to appoint new judges to the Constitutional Court, a tribunal that is a major target of protest anger.

The court tossed out about 30 results of the legislative elections in a move that handed seats to members of Keita’s party.

An ECOWAS mission to Mali last month concluded that the court’s decision was “at the root of the tension” and called on the government to review the contested results or stage new elections as soon as possible.

It also called for a “consensus government of national union.”

These recommendations have found a broad echo in the international community.

Keita, for his part, has made several gestures toward the June 5 Movement, including the dissolution of the Constitutional Court to enable a U-turn on the contested seats.

However, the dissolution creates legal as well as political complications, which the expected constitutional experts may be able to resolve.

Seven Killed In Attacks On Mali Villages

Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa and the eighth-largest country in Africa
File photo: Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa and the eighth-largest country in Africa

 

Gunmen on motorcycles killed seven people in attacks on two villages in central Mali, an area plagued by jihadist attacks and intercommunal violence, a local mayor said Wednesday.

The victims of Tuesday’s raids were farmers from the Dogon community who were working their fields at the time, said Ali Dolo, mayor of the rural Sangha area which covers the villages.

He told AFP that the assailants were the same men who have attacked other villages in past months.

At least four other people were killed in June and another dozen in April in similar attacks in the Sangha area, which lies about 30 kilometres (20 miles) from the town of Bandiagara.

Central Mali has witnessed a surge in violence since 2015 linked to an Islamist insurgency and also deadly clashes between the ethnic communities of Fulani, nomadic herders, and Dogon traditional hunters.

AFP

One Dead As Protest Against Mali President Turns Violent

An aerial view shows protesters gathering for a demonstration in the Independence square in Bamako on June 19, 2020. MICHELE CATTANI / AFP
File: An aerial view shows protesters gathering for a demonstration in the Independence square in Bamako on June 19, 2020. MICHELE CATTANI / AFP

 

One person was killed and 20 people injured in Mali’s capital Bamako on Friday, a hospital official said, during a mass rally against embattled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Thousands initially gathered in a central city square to demand that Keita resign over the country’s long-running jihadist conflict, economic woes and perceived government corruption.

But the protest afterwards descended into violence — seldom seen in the West African state’s capital — as protesters blocked main thoroughfares, attacked the parliament and stormed the premises of the state broadcaster.

“We have recorded one death in the morgue,” said Yamadou Diallo, a doctor in Bamako’s Gabriel Toure hospital, who added that 20 people had been wounded.

An official from the prime minister’s office also confirmed the death.

The circumstances under which people were wounded and one person was killed were not immediately clear.

The protest, organised by a new opposition coalition, is the third such demonstration in two months — significantly escalating pressure on the 75-year-old president.

Led by influential imam Mahmoud Dicko, the so-called June 5 movement is channelling deep-seated frustrations in war-torn Mali.

Keita this week unsuccessfully floated political reforms in a bid to appease opponents, but did not accede to demands from the political opposition to dissolve the parliament and form a transition government.

Barricades, burning tyres

Many protesters on Friday carried placards bearing anti-government slogans and blowing vuvuzela horns, AFP reporters saw.

“We don’t want this regime any more,” said one of the demonstrators, Sy Kadiatou Sow.

Protesters later erected barricades and set tyres alight on two of the main bridges across the river Niger that runs through Bamako, according to AFP journalists, and entered the courtyard of state broadcaster ORTM.

ORTM television channels were off air on Friday afternoon, an AFP journalist said.

AFP was unable to immediately confirm the reason the channels were off air.

National guardsmen also fired tear gas at protesters hurling stones at the parliament building.

Bamako rarely sees the violence that is routine across swathes of Mali that lie outside government control, and are prey to jihadist attacks.

The country has been struggling to contain an Islamist insurgency that first emerged in the north in 2012, before spreading to the centre of the country and to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes.

‘Civil disobedience’

Opposition leaders on Friday also published a ten-point document calling for civil disobedience.

Recommendations for actions laid out in the document included not paying fines, blocking entry to state buildings — except hospitals — and occupying crossroads.

Friday’s demonstration follows an attempt by Keita on Wednesday to appease growing opposition to his government by offering to appoint new judges to the constitutional court.

The court has been at the centre of controversy in Mali since April 29, when it overturned the provisional results for March’s parliamentary poll for about 30 seats.

That move saw several members of Keita’s party elected to the parliament and triggered protests in several cities.

It is also widely as having ignited the country’s latest political crisis.

Keita suggested in a televised speech on Wednesday that appointing new judges would mean that the constitutional court could revisit its earlier decision.

But the speech fell on deaf ears among Mali’s opposition leaders, who had been demanding that the president dissolve the parliament and form a transition government.

Issa Kaou Djim, a member of the political opposition, said that efforts at dialogue with Keita had failed.

“Now, no one considers him the president. But everything we are going to do will be done within a democratic and republican framework,” he added.

Keita is on increasingly shaky political ground as protests continue, alarming the international community which is keen to avoid Mali sliding into chaos.

 

AFP

Mali President’s Speech Fails To Appease Opposition

In this file photo taken on August 10, 2018 Mali’s incumbent president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita addresses his supporters during his last political rally in Bamako ahead of the runoff vote in Mali’s presidential election on August 12, 2018. 
Michele CATTANI / AFP

 

 

Mali’s main protest group said that fresh anti-government demonstrations would take place Friday, rejecting the president’s latest attempts to appease the resurgent opposition in the fragile West African state.

It follows reforms floated by President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on Wednesday evening meant to quell growing hostility to his government.

Thousands of people in the country of roughly 19 million protested on two occasions last month, urging Keita to resign over his perceived inability to resolve Mali’s economic woes and bloody jihadist conflict.

Adama Ben Diarra, a leader of the so-called June 5 opposition movement, told AFP they would protest following Friday’s prayers at around 2 pm (local) in the capital Bamako.

Earlier on Thursday Mahmoud Dicko, an influential imam who has emerged as one of the leaders of the movement, indicated a protest planned for Friday would go ahead.

Mali has been struggling to contain an Islamist insurgency that first emerged in the north in 2012, before spreading to the centre of the country and to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed in the conflict to date, and hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes.

On Wednesday evening, Keita proposed in a televised speech the appointment of new judges to the country’s constitutional court, which has been at the centre of controversy since April.

Following a long-delayed parliamentary poll in March — which Keita’s party won — the court overturned the provisional results for about 30 seats on April 29, in a decision that triggered protests in several Malian cities.

The move saw several members from Keita’s party elected to the parliament, and is viewed by many as having ignited Mali’s latest political crisis.

But Keita, who has been in power since 2013, suggested in his speech on Wednesday that new constitutional court judges could revisit that decision.

– ‘Failed speech’ –
The embattled president’s attempt to appease Mali’s growing opposition movement appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

One protest leader, Moussa Sinko Coulibay, tweeted Thursday the speech had “completely failed”.

“We massively invite women (to demonstrate). President IBK has not met our expectations,” the leader of the women’s wing of the protests, Fatoumara Oulare, said Thursday.

Malian singer Salif Keita also tweeted a call to protest on Friday.

The president is on increasingly shaky political ground as protests continue, alarming the international community which is keen to avoid Mali sliding into chaos.

The 75-year-old has mooted several reforms since demonstrations began in a bid to appease protesters, such as the formation of a new national unity government.

Last week, opposition leaders said they wanted to engage in dialogue with the president, dropping demands for his resignation in favour of the dissolution of parliament and the establishment of a transition government.

Since then, back-and-forth talks between the opposition and Keita have failed to achieve a breakthrough, however, with the president refusing to dissolve parliament.

 

 

-AFP

30 Villagers Dead After Armed Men Attacks In Mali

File: Malian soldiers ride in a Malian army pickup truck in Diabaly January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

 

Armed men have killed at least 30 villagers in Mali in simultaneous attacks on several villages in the conflict-riven centre of the country, local officials said on Friday.

The attacks took place on Wednesday in the Bankass region, but were not immediately confirmed because of the difficulty in accessing information from the area.

Officials did not immediately blame any group, but central Mali has become one of the flashpoints of the country’s conflict, with regular jihadist assaults and intercommunal fighting between ethnic groups.

Armed uniformed men travelling in pick-up trucks attacked four villages populated by Dogon ethnic groups, one local official said by telephone, speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons.

“From 3 to 9 pm, nobody came to our rescue. I deplore the inaction of the army. It is always late and never confronts the bandits even if we tell them where they are,” said Youssouf Tiessogue, an elder from Gouari, one the villages attacked.

The attack left at least 30 dead, including women, children, the elderly while others were missing, local officials said.

A senior government official also speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed the deaths of around 30 civilians, killed by gunmen in several villages.

Unrest in central Mali has killed nearly 600 civilians this year, the United Nations said last month.

Clashes between the ethnic Fulani and Dogon communities have increased in recent months, with community-based militias — initially formed for defence — now launching attacks.

Mali’s war erupted in 2012 when Tuareg rebels supported by armed Islamists took over the desert north of the West African country. The rebels were then outmanoeuvred by their Islamist allies and the French military intervened to force them back.

The conflict has since swept into the centre of Mali and spilled into neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger, inflaming ethnic tensions.

More than 5,000 French troops, a regional G5 Sahel military cooperation deal and a UN peacekeeper mission in Mali have not been enough to contain the violence.

 

Jihadist Bloodshed Brings Burkina Faso To Its Knees

File Photo of gunman, posing for a portrait on an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) of the French Army during the Barkhane operation in northern Burkina Faso on November 12, 2019.
MICHELE CATTANI / AFP

 

 

Little more than five years ago, Burkina Faso was on the up, priding itself as a favoured tourist destination for well-heeled Europeans.

Today, the country seems to be visibly sinking, battered by a jihadist revolt that has swept in from neighbouring Mali, rolled into Niger and cast a shadow on the countries to the south.

More than 1,650 civilians and soldiers have died since 2015, according to a local monitoring group, the Observatory for Democracy and Human Rights (ODDH) — a  figure that some say is probably just a fraction of the real tally.

Nearly a million people have fled their homes and nowhere in the country rates as safe, under travel recommendations issued by Western governments.

The country, one of the poorest in the world, is scarred by stories of tragedy.

“My wife was killed in an attack in Arbinda in December, leaving a two-year-old baby,” said Aly Sidibe, a 42-year-old former herder displaced in the northern city of Kaya.

“The child is in Ouagadougou. He is being taken care of by social services.”

Sidibe said he had lost his entire herd.

“I had more than 50 cattle. I don’t even have a sheep anymore,” he said.

– ‘Lazy king’ –
Burkina Faso lies in the heart of the Sahel, whose leaders have joined a French-backed effort to roll back jihadism in the vast semi-desert region.

President Emmanuel Macron will join his five allies in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott on Tuesday to debate the state of the campaign.

Burkinabe General Moise Miningou, speaking to AFP, hit out at perceptions that the armed forces were failing.

“People who talk like that do not know the real situation,” he said, pointing to a strategy of “liberating axes (and) securing populations.”

“(…) The battle is hard but we will shortly get results,” he said, noting that the country would have five operational combat helicopters by the end of the year.

Security sources say the armed forces have been a casualty of Burkina’s political turmoil.

For several years, Burkina Faso seemed immune to jihadist attacks — the result, according to some analysts, of a secret deal between the then president, Blaise Compaore, and militant groups.

After Compaore was ousted in 2014, the armed forces were essentially muzzled, deprived of funding, equipment and training, according to the sources.

The transitional government that took over and the government of President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, who took power in 2015, were afraid of coups.

“We had an army without weapons, an army without ammunition and not trained at all,” said one source.

As the jihadist attacks mounted from 2015, the security forces became overwhelmed, said Mahamoudou Savadogo, a Burkinabe researcher specialising in armed Islamism.

“The army was never equipped, and there was never an appropriate strategy,” Savadogo said.

As a result the armed forces went from defeat to defeat, sometimes masking shortcomings with announcements of spectacular victories.

In the long term, the territory over which the state exercises its authority is shrinking and the army, police, teachers and administration are absent from whole swathes of the country.

Some say Kabore has done little to quell the relentless jihadist attacks.

“He’s a kind of lazy king who holds more and more audiences and listens in his chair without making any decisions,” a diplomatic source in Abidjan said.

– Cycle of retribution –
Savadogo said the void left by the state has been filled by inter-communal violence.

He pointed to the clashes between the Mossi and Fulani — an ethnic herder group, also called Peuls, who are accused by other communities of complicity with the jihadists — as the example of a vicious circle.

“The Mossi abuses in retaliation for the actions of armed terrorist groups have practically pushed young Fulani to join jihadism. They really have no other choice if they want to survive, but also to take revenge,” he said.

Exacerbating inter-communal tensions is a recurrent strategy of jihadist groups throughout the Sahel, according to a French security source.

These groups also seek to appeal to the aspirations of populations abandoned by the state. They have threatened holders of hunting concessions and mining sites, often granted by corrupt state officials, and then offer the hunting and gold-panning areas to locals in the north and east.

Drissa Traore, a teacher and political analyst, said Kabore’s lavish promises on security are unlikely to impress the public, many of whom are likely to see it as a campaign pitch ahead of presidential elections due in November.

“Their worries are elsewhere. Water, gas, food, everything is lacking… Even when these products are available, the prices are tripled or quadrupled,” Traore added.

The security crisis may deprive entire areas of the country from taking part in the vote, which could lead to a skewed or disputed result.

“Despite a disastrous record, the ruling party will win, because the opposition has no leader. We run the risk of even more tension,” predicted Savadogo. “We’re going to sink even further.”

 

 

-AFP