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Africa

2012-03-22

AFRICA/MALI-Sporadic gun shots in Bamako, Mgr. Zerbo invites all to prayer and solidarity

Bamako (Agenzia Fides) - "We hear gun shots in the center of Bamako. From time to time we see military vehicles circulating on the main roads, from where shots fired in the air are heard. But in several districts of the city there remains a relative calm " report sources of the Episcopal Conference of Mali, reached by Fides in Bamako, where a group of military coup claim to have overthrown President Amadou Toumani Toure, to have suspended the Constitution and decreed the curfew. "Some civilians risk moving in the streets, despite the curfew. Much of the population, however, remained at home. The national television is broadcasting a statement of the military coup. No one knows where President Touré is. From what we know, within the Country the situation is calm, and the population continues its activities ". Reached by Fides, His Exc. Mgr. Jean Zerbo, Archbishop of Bamako, asks "everyone to pray" for them, "We have invited our community to be in solidarity with the victims and all those affected by these events", says the Archbishop.
The coup leaders accuse the President of incompetence in the management of military operations in the north of the Country against the majority Tuareg separatist movement and Islamist groups operating there.
Fides sources point out that the military say-so had been preceded in past weeks, by protests on behalf of the families of military personnel engaged in operations in northern Mali to combat the guerrillas. There was a demonstration of the soldiers’ wives followed by another of their sons and brothers. Another protest march was scheduled for tomorrow (March 23), but the coup preceded it. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 22/3/2012)

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