Malian opposition activists turned up in their thousands on Friday marching through the streets of the capital, Bamako, to demand the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
The massive response to the anti-government protest comes after series of calls by opposition groups, accusing the president of not addressing the country’s many challenges.
Pressure is mounting on Kieta, over failure to contain the 2012 terrorist insurgency, that has claimed the lives of thousands of soldiers and civilians.
Bintou, one such protester said it is the time for IBK to leave: “We are here tonight to put an end to corruption, to put an end to demagoguery, to put an end to this dying power that is no longer capable of educating our children, giving us health, equipping our army.
“Imagine in a country where the money intended to equip the army to protect the nation is misappropriated. This regime must be stopped. IBK (Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta) must go.”
The embattled president on Tuesday announced that he would hold talks on establishing a unity government. A move some critics say, is an attempt to appease increasingly vocal opposition critics.
However, it did little to hold back the protesters. The regional Economic Commission of West African States, ECOWAS; bloc sent a delegation that met the president on Thursday, they also called for the formation of a unity government and a review of contentious results from recent legislative polls.
Mahmoud Dicko, a protest leader stressed that the protesters were not going to relent. “He thinks that after our discussions at this rally, the demonstrators are going to be tired. But they won’t be. God willing, we will continue until victory is achieved.”