The civil opposition movement “Trop c’est trop” called on citizens to participate in a march in the capital Bamako on Thursday, June 8, to denounce proposed constitutional amendments. The march is schedule to start at 09:00 (local time) in front of the Labour Exchange building and continue to the Administrative Cité. The organization also called on citizens to boycott the referendum on the constitutional reforms, scheduled to take place on July 9. It also warned that further demonstrations (e.g. sit-in protests, marches, etc.) would be organized in the coming weeks. Increased security measures and traffic disruptions are likely along the march route.
The proposed constitutional reforms were approved by the National Assembly on June 3. The stated goal of the reforms is to provide the country with solid institutions capable of consolidating democratic foundations and adapt it to the political and social evolution of the country.
The constitution, if adopted, would provide for the creation of a number of new institutions including a Court of Accounts and a Senate. It would also give new powers to the president and the National Assembly, such as giving the president immunity from prosecution while in office and allowing the parliament to carry out future constitutional amendments without a referendum.
According to the opposition, the security situation in the central and northern regions makes it difficult to hold a free and fair vote. In addition, opposition members have criticized what they consider exorbitant powers that would be granted to the president.
Individuals in Mali are advised to avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution and to anticipate transportation disruptions along the march route.
On a separate note, due to the underlying terrorist and kidnapping threats prevalent in the country, all those present in Mali are advised to remain discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times (especially in local markets, now used by terrorists as recruitment grounds), and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities. When going out, always carry a reliable means of communication and inform a trusted contact of where you are going and when you plan to return.