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Respect freedom of expression, EU tells Mali authorities after dispersed opposition protests

Respect freedom of expression, EU tells Mali authorities after dispersed opposition protests

The EU on Monday night called for “respect for freedom of expression” after an opposition-organized protest was dispersed last weekend my Malian security forces, events that left several people injured.

“The demonstrations must be peaceful and all actors including the police must exercise restraint,” said a spokesman for the European Union in a statement.

“It is important that the 2018 presidential election be held in peaceful, credible, transparent and inclusive conditions in order to strengthen Mali’s stability,” he added.

“The EU will remain fully committed to contribute through, inter alia, the deployment of an election observation mission,” he continued.

The Malian government had declared Sunday “false and slanderous” the statements of the opposition, which had initially reproached it for having used “live bullets” during demonstrations the day before in Bamako before demanding an “investigation”, two months to the presidential election on July 29.

In the aftermath of the clashes that left 25 wounded according to a hospital source, UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, was worried the situation in Mali could escalate when he visited the country last week.