[WORLD NEWS] ARAB GUNMEN SHUT DOWN MALI’S TIMBUKTU DAYS BEFORE VOTE

ARMED PROTESTERS FROM MALI’S ARAB COMMUNITY HAVE FIRED SHOTS INTO THE AIR, BURNED TYRES AND TORCHED VEHICLES IN TIMBUKTU, DAYS BEFORE AN ELECTION.

THE ARAB YOUTHS, MOSTLY PETTY TRADERS, WERE ON WEDNESDAY, PROTESTING AGAINST WORSENING INSECURITY AND ALLEGED ILL TREATMENT BY SECURITY FORCES IN NORTHERN MALI, WHICH HAS BEEN PLAGUED BY ISLAMIST VIOLENCE, TUAREG SEPARATISTS AND ETHNIC TENSIONS, EVER SINCE ARMED GROUPS TOOK OVER PARTS OF THE REGION IN 2012.

MEANWHILE, MALIANS WILL BE VOTING ON SUNDAY IN A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN WHICH PRESIDENT IBRAHIM KEITA, WILL SEEK A SECOND TERM AMID RISING DISSATISFACTION OVER THE GOVERNMENT’S RECORD ON SECURITY.