Saturday 21 October 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 06/19/17)
French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to the leader of Mali after Sunday's attack on a luxury resort in the country, and pledged France's full support for the country, Macron's office said on Monday. "During their exchange, he conveyed France's full support to Mali's president during this ordeal," said Macron's office. Gunmen on Sunday attacked a luxury resort popular with Western expatriates just outside Mali's capital, Bamako, killing two people in what the security minister called a terrorist attack, while 36 guests were rescued.
(The Associated Press 06/19/17)
The Latest on the attack by Islamic extremists on a resort outside Mali's capital, Bamako. (all times local): 3:30 p.m. Authorities in Mali say the death toll has risen to five people following a terror attack on a luxury resort area popular with foreigners in Mali's capital. Mali's security minister announced Monday that a Chinese national had died from injuries sustained in the Sunday afternoon attack. Already authorities have said that a Portuguese soldier taking part in the European Union mission to stabilize Mali was killed. A Malian soldier and another Malian national who worked for the EU mission were also among the victims, along with a dual French-Gabonese citizen whose name has not been released. Four jihadists stormed the...
(BBC News Africa 06/19/17)
Two EU staff were killed when gunmen stormed a tourist resort in Mali on Sunday, the bloc's foreign affairs chief has said. One victim was a Portuguese soldier while the other was a Malian woman, Federica Mogherini added. Mali's security minister said on Sunday that a Franco-Gabonese person was also killed. It is not clear how many people in total have been killed and no group has said it carried out the attack. Africa Live: Updates on this and other stories World's most dangerous peacekeeping mission "It is a jihadist attack. Malian special forces intervened and hostages have been released," Mali Security Minister Salif Traore told AFP news agency. The minister said four assailants had been killed by security forces...
(The Associated Press 06/19/17)
Islamic extremists who stormed a resort area in Mali popular with foreigners killed five people, including a Portuguese soldier who had been serving in the European Union mission to stabilize this West African country wracked by mounting extremism, authorities said Monday. The death toll rose after a Malian soldier who was wounded in the Sunday afternoon attack died of his injuries. Three civilians - a Chinese citizen, a Malian, and a French-Gabonese dual national - also were slain in the worst terror attack to strike Bamako since late 2015. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the Malian victim worked for the European delegation in Bamako. The attack struck a resort area that was considered safe enough that it was...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/19/17)
BAMAKO (Reuters) - Unidentified gunmen killed four guests at a Mali luxury resort popular with Western expatriates just outside the capital Bamako, and one other guest is still missing, a security source at the scene said on Monday. One of the victims of Sunday's attack was Portuguese and one Cameroonian, the security source said. Authorities had on Sunday confirmed two deaths and identified one as French-Gabonese. [nL8N1JF0SP] The source said the fourth victim had not been identified. Security forces backed by French and U.N. troops mobilised quickly when the attack was underway, rescuing 36 residents including 13 French citizens. [nL8N1JF0SP] Security Minister Salif Traore told Radio France International on Monday that "five terrorists were killed" in operations that continued throughout...
(AFP (eng) 06/18/17)
Suspected jihadists crying "Allahu Akbar" stormed a tourist resort popular with foreigners on the edge of the Malian capital Bamako on Sunday, briefly seizing hostages and leaving at least two people dead. The assault on the Kangaba Le Campement resort comes after a similar strike less than two years ago on a luxury hotel in Bamako, which lies in the south of the troubled country. Security forces battled the gunmen at the site, with nearby residents reporting hearing shots while smoke billowed into the air, with at least one building ablaze. "It is a jihadist attack.
(AFP (eng) 06/18/17)
Suspected jihadists crying "Allahu Akbar" stormed a tourist resort popular with foreigners on the edge of the Malian capital Bamako on Sunday, briefly seizing hostages and leaving at least two people dead. The assault on the Kangaba Le Campement resort comes after a similar strike less than two years ago on a luxury hotel in Bamako, which lies in the south of the troubled country. Security forces battled the gunmen at the site, with nearby residents reporting hearing shots while smoke billowed into the air, with at least one building ablaze. "It is a jihadist attack. Malian special forces intervened and about 20 hostages have been released," Security Minister Salif Traore told AFP. "Unfortunately for the moment there are two...
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
Five soldiers were killed Saturday in northern Mali, where a surge in violence has prompted calls for the UN to create a new anti-jihadist force for the region. Eight soldiers were wounded and nine vehicles were destroyed in the attack on the camp at Bintagoungou at about 5:00 am, an army statement said. Local sources told AFP earlier Saturday that jihadists led the assault, which took place around 80 kilometres (50 miles) from Timbuktu, and has not been claimed. "All the camp's military material was ransacked," a local official told AFP. A resident earlier said that there were "no Malian soldiers to be seen -- the camp has been laid waste. The jihadists left with military hostages." Northern Mali continues...
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
Two soldiers were killed and others abducted Saturday after jihadists attacked a military base in northern Mali, a local official and a resident told AFP. "Around five o'clock, the jihadists attacked the military camp at Bintagoungou," some 80 kilometres (50 miles) from Timbuktu, the official said. "At least two soldiers were killed and many others were abducted. All the camp's military material was ransacked," he added. A resident added that "there are no Malian soldiers to be seen -- the camp has been laid waste. The jihadists left with military hostages." An army source confirmed the attack to AFP without giving any details. Northern Mali continues to fall prey to jihadist attacks with four people having died in an assault...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
France's foreign minister said Thursday he was confident "we will get there" in convincing a reluctant United States to give United Nations backing to an anti-jihadist force drawn from five African countries. Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, which make up the so-called G5 Sahel, have agreed to set up a special counter-terrorism operation of 5,000 troops, but want UN logistical and financial support. "We think that it is necessary to support them in this endeavour, because the security of Africans will not come, in the end, only from Africans themselves," said Jean-Yves Le Drian, speaking in the Senegalese capital of Dakar as part of a west African tour. France has presented a draft resolution to the Security Council...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said. "We spent four days in the desert. People died of thirst and the sun in the back of the truck." They finally arrived on the beach at Sabrata, 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Libya's capital Tripoli, a key departure...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Mali's anti-corruption office launched a crackdown on tens of thousands of civil servants Tuesday, setting them an end of August deadline to prove they earned their income honestly. Those who fail to do so will be sacked and could face fines and even jail terms, Moumouni Guindo, head of the Central Office against Illicit Enrichment (OCLCEI) told AFP. Top government officials have until the end of August to declare their assets, as have another 55,000 civil servants across the country, including contract workers, he added. "Any civil servant who fails to declare his assets before the end of August 2017 will be relieved of his functions...," said Guindo. They would be banned from public sector work for five years, he...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Uche's real journey had yet to begin but he had already spent four days in the northern Nigerian city of Kano after travelling on public buses and potholed roads from Imo state in the southeast. He planned to go to Agadez, a transit town on the southern edge of the Sahara desert in central Niger, take a truck to Sebha, in southwestern Libya, and from there to the capital Tripoli, and then to Italy or Spain. But his contact, who was supposed to drive him and three women across Nigeria's northern border, was arrested on suspicion of people smuggling. "His house had been under surveillance," explains the 38-year-old electrician in Kano's bustling Sabon Gari district. "The movement of the three...
(RFI 06/12/17)
France on Friday tried to convince the US to back a call for the UN to endorse an African military force to fight jihadists, drug smugglers and people traffickers in the Sahel region after American diplomats claimed the mandate was too vague. Following an African Union request for UN backing, France presented a draft resolution on Tuesday to back a decision by Africa's G5 - Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger - to set up a 5,000-strong counter-terrorism force in the Sahel region. It would give a UN mandate to the G5 troops ...
(AFP (eng) 06/12/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will on Monday meet African leaders in Berlin on initiatives aiming to reduce the poverty and conflict driving a mass migrant influx to Europe. The idea is to team up African nations willing to reform with private investors who would bring business and jobs to a continent where instability or graft often scare off foreign companies. Merkel is hosting the initiative as part of Germany's presidency of the Group of 20 powerful economies, whose leaders meet in the northern port of Hamburg a month later. Invited to Berlin are Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the leaders of Ghana, Ivory Coast...
(AFP (eng) 06/11/17)
The death toll in a jihadist attack on UN peacekeepers in northern Mali has risen to four, the United Nations mission in the country said Saturday. Three Guinean peacekeepers were killed Friday near their base in Kidal by a powerful group linked to Al-Qaeda, and the body of a missing soldier has now been found, the MINUSMA mission said in a statement. "The toll of victims from the terrorist operation mounted against UN peacekeepers has risen to four dead and eight wounded. The wounded have been treated at the MINUSMA hospital in Kidal and their condition is stable," the statement said. Claiming the attack was the Group to Support Islam and Muslims, also known as Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimeen in...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/10/17)
Militants on Thursday killed three United Nations peacekeepers in a attack outside their base in Kidal in northern Mali, the U.N. said in a statement on Friday. U.N. soldiers face frequent attacks from desert fighters who have regrouped since a French-led military operation in 2013 to drive them out of Mali's northern towns. More than 100 peacekeepers have died in recent months, making it the most deadly U.N. mission to date. The soldiers were from Guinea, the Guinean government said in a statement. The identity of the attackers was not yet known. The U.N. camp came under heavy mortar fire on Thursday, injuring five. Shortly afterwards, three U.N. soldiers were killed in an attack just outside the camp, the U.N...
(AFP (eng) 06/09/17)
A powerful Al-Qaeda-linked group on Friday claimed an attack on a United Nations camp that killed three peacekeepers in Kidal in Mali's troubled north. The Group to Support Islam and Muslims, a fusion of three Malian jihadist groups with previous Al-Qaeda links, posted a statement on its Telegram channel saying it had targeted the UN base "with a set of mortar shells", wounding soldiers and causing significant material damage, the SITE extremism monitor reported. The UN mission in Mali, MINUSMA, said earlier on Friday their Kidal camp "came under heavy rocket/mortar fire" and "a little later a position nearby was attacked" outside their base, killing three peacekeepers and wounding eight more. The Group to Support Islam and Muslims, also known...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/08/17)
France on Tuesday proposed that the United Nations Security Council back a West African force to combat terrorism, drug and human trafficking by "eradicating the actions" of Islamist militants and organized crime groups in the Sahel region. The vast, arid zone has in recent years become a breeding ground for jihadist groups - some linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State - that European nations, particularly France, fear could threaten Europe if left unchecked. "We cannot afford to let the Sahel region become a new safe haven for terrorists across the world," French U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre told reporters. France circulated a draft Security Council resolution on Tuesday to the 15-member body to authorize the West African force to use...

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