Protests against French 'Barkhane' operation in Kidal
On 2nd October 2017, a protest comprised of mainly women took place in front of the UN Mission in Mali over the presence of the French anti-terrorism mission 'Barkhane' in Kidal, northern Mali. The protests became more widespread between 6th and 9th October. A 'Barkhane' operation that took place on 1st October, when the troops allegedly used automatic rifles and explosives, triggered the protests, as citizens viewed the troops' actions as endangering their personal lives. The commanding officer of 'Barkhane', however, referred to the protests as "manipulation" of the local population.
On 29th August 2017, Centre d'étude et de renforcements de capacités d'analyse et plaidoyer (CERCAP) presented its study on the "strengths, weaknesses and constraints" of print media in Mali. According to the study, the main challenges for print media's survival in the country include lack of financial sustainability of media outlets and low salaries paid to journalists. Boubacar Macalou, director of CERCAP, commented on the situation for the press, stating that:
"A simple reading of the report would lead one to believe that this press [written press] is dead. But on the ground, we see men and women moving, who refuse that the Malian written press dies. They give their best so this written press exists. But if we take the figures into account, we would think that the written press is dying". (Translated from French)