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Mali independence celebration marred by clashes


Police in Mali fired tear gas in Bamako to disperse a banned opposition demonstration as the country celebrated its 58th independence anniversary and the inauguration of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.

Supporters of opposition leader Soumaïla Cissé, had planned to converge at the city centre.

A scuffle broke out between demonstrators, some of whom were holding posters and law enforcement officials at one of the assembly points in Bamako.

The demonstrators set car tyres on fire in response to the firing of tear gas.

According to police source at least one person was arrested.

However, the opposition disagrees with the figures, claiming twelve people were apprehended.

The governor of Bamako had declined a request for permission to demonstrate “due to the country’s independence day celebrations.

The presidents of Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Congo and Chad attended a military parade and ceremony on Saturday morning.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was sworn in on September 4, after his re-election was validated by the Constitutional Court.


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