Protest by teachers' unions dispersed, protests against presence of foreign troops
Protest by teachers' unions dispersed.
Security forces reportedly used tear gas and batons to disperse a protest organised by teachers' unions on 11th March 2020 in Bamako, leaving several people injured. Protesters responded by throwing stones at police vehicles, damaging some police vehicles. Nine protesters were reportedly arrested, and four police officers also sustained injuries. Protesters demanded better working conditions and the strict application of article 39 of the law establishing the status of teaching staff in secondary, basic, pre-school and special education of 19th January 2018. The protest followed failed negotiations between the unions and government on 9th March 2020. In a statement, the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) condemned the recourse to force, and called upon the government to respect freedom of peaceful assembly as a constitutional and fundamental human right. Since January 2020, the education sector has been disrupted by teachers' strikes.
Protest against French and international military presence in Mali
On 10th January 2020, hundreds of people gathered at the Place de l'Indépendance in Bamako following a call to protest by associations and political parties. Protesters demanded the departure of foreign military forces in the country, including the anti-insurgency 'Operation Barkhane', led by the French Armed Forces. Operation Barkhane, launched on 1st August 2014, is a French military operation whose objective to support the Group of Five (G-5) Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger) in the fight against Islamist armed groups in the Sahel region. They work alongside the G5 joint counter-terrorism force, created in June 2017, and the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, MINUSMA.