Tuesday 23 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
US Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed regret on Thursday to African ambassadors who were outraged by President Donald Trump's alleged description of African countries as "shithole" nations, the head of the African Group said. Haley asked to meet the African ambassadors at the United Nations after they released a joint statement on Friday demanding an apology from Trump for his "outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks." Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba of Equatorial Guinea, who chairs the Africa Group, said the US ambassador did not offer an apology during the closed-door meeting, but she did express regret. Haley told the meeting that "she was not there at the White House, she is not sure what was said, but...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
Five Sahel countries - Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso -- on Monday launched their second anti-Jihadist operation in the troubled region, after talks in Paris with their partner France. After the discussions between the defence ministers of the so-called G5 Sahel and their French counterpart no details were released about the new operation due to "security reasons". "We are moving forward... the joint force is gaining momentum... the first operation has taken place, the second one is starting today," Malian Defence Minister Tiena Coulibaly told a press conference, alongside his G5 counterparts and French Defence...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Defence ministers from five countries in the Sahel were meeting Monday with French counterpart Florence Parly in the latest push for a pooled force fighting jihadism in the fragile region. The brief meeting, in which senior military officers were to take part, aims at setting down a concrete timetable for deploying the so-called "G5 Sahel" force, which carried out its maiden mission in November with French support. The unprecedented initative brings together Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, which aim to create a fully fledged force of 5,000 troops by mid-2018.
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump's reported description of African nations as "shithole countries" broke with "accepted behaviour" and was "extremely upsetting." Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, told AFP that Trump's statement "truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice." "This is not only hurtful, I think, to people of African origin in the United States, but certainly to African citizens," she said. "It's an extremely upsetting statement," she added. The comment was reportedly made during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out in a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform, demanding to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called "shithole" countries. The comments, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked anger among Democrats and Republicans and revived questions about Trump's tendency to make racially charged remarks. Trump sat down with senators and congressmen at the White House to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members...
(AFP (eng) 01/11/18)
A regional bank official and the head of an African tech initiative both announced candidacies for the Malian presidency on Wednesday, as the 2018 race for the troubled Sahel nation heats up. Modibo Kone, a rural development expert at the West African Development Bank, and Hamadoun Toure, who runs the "Smart Africa" initiative to drive development on the continent via technology, said the country had suffered poor leadership. They are hoping to unseat President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who has not...
(AFP (eng) 01/02/18)
Mali will adopt a law on "national consensus" that may amnesty rebels who took part in a revolt in 2012, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said in a New Year's speech. Keita, in a nationwide message late Sunday, said the law would draw on a so-called charter for peace, unity and national reconciliation, which he received in June as the outcome of a two-year-old peace pact between the government and Tuareg rebels aimed at shoring up Mali's shaky security. The "draft...
(AFP (eng) 12/24/17)
Mali's ousted former president Amadou Toumani Toure returned to the country on Sunday for the first time since a coup deposed him in 2012. Toure flew into the capital, Bamako, the scene of his downfall on March 22, 2012, when mutinous soldiers overthrew the government and detained him. The coup led by army captain Amadou Sanogo toppled what had been heralded as one of the region's most stable democracies, before the country's northern territory was overrun by Islamist rebels allied with Al-Qaeda. Toure, who arrived with his family on board the presidential plane...
(AFP (eng) 12/22/17)
Mali's ousted former president Amadou Toumani Toure will return to the country on Sunday for the first time since the coup that deposed him, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said. Mutinous soldiers overthrew the government and detained Toure on March 22, 2012, precipitating the fall of the country's northern territory to Islamist rebels allied with Al-Qaeda. The coup led by army captain Amadou Sanogo toppled what had been heralded as one of the region's most stable democracies, and Toure has been...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/17)
Qatar's emir was to tour six West African nations starting Wednesday in search of new markets, six months after Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries cut ties with the wealthy emirate. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Lulwa al-Khater told a press conference that Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani's mission would begin in Mali, and include stops in Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea and Senegal. The visit is part of Doha's drive to open up new markets and diversify its economy amid...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/17)
Oil-rich Gulf countries pledged 130 million euros Wednesday towards fighting jihadists in West Africa's Sahel region, as French President Emmanuel Macron hosted leaders in a bid to boost a fledgling five-nation military force. The G5 Sahel force brings together troops from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- some of the poorest countries in the world -- and money had been a major obstacle to getting it off the ground. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir promised 100 million euros...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/17)
A Senegalese court on Thursday delayed the trial of popular Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall on charges of embezzling public funds until January 3, as his lawyers denounced a "hasty" start to proceedings. Sall is accused of misappropriating 1.83 billion CFA francs ($3.3 million, 2.8 million euros) -- a charge he denies and which backers say is politically motivated. The court's president Maguette Diop called a special hearing for January 3, after ordering Sall's supporters to calm down after they packed...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/17)
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates put forward $130 million Wednesday towards fighting jihadists in West Africa's Sahel region, as France's Emmanuel Macron hosted leaders to an effort to boost a fledgling five-nation military force. The force brings together troops from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- some of the poorest countries in the world -- and money had been a major obstacle to getting it off the ground. The $100 million (85 million euros) from oil-rich Riyadh and $30 million from the UAE bring the total pledged funding over the initial 250 million euros needed in the short terma, a relief for Macron who had lobbied the Gulf and US for cash.
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Up to 6,000 Africans who fought for the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Iraq and Syria could return home, the African Union's top security official warned Sunday, calling on countries to prepare for the threat. Smail Chergui, the AU's commissioner for peace and security, said African nations would need to work closely with each other and share intelligence to counter returning militants. "There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group...
(AFP (eng) 12/03/17)
A Malian army general and former government minister has resigned his post to stand in the country's presidential elections in July 2018, sources close to the officer said Sunday. Moussa Sinko Coulibaly is the second person to declare his candidacy, after Kalifa Sanogo, the mayor of Mali's second-largest city, Sikasso, who announced his bid in July. They are hoping to unseat President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who has not yet said if he will seek a second five-year term, though he...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Leaders at an EU-Africa summit called Thursday for the immediate evacuation of nearly 4,000 distressed African migrants in Libya under a new drive to fight slave traders and traffickers. Wrapping up a two-day summit in Ivory Coast's economic capital, a top African Union (AU) official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans stranded in Libya, where many have suffered atrocities and even been sold into slavery. He said a fact-finding mission had seen one camp in Tripoli where...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
A summit gathering European and African leaders from more than 80 countries drew to a close Thursday with plans for the immediate evacuation of some 3,800 African migrants stranded in Libya. Wrapping up the summit in the Ivorian capital, a top African Union official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans trapped in Libya, where many have suffered attrocities and even been sold into slavery. The two-day summit of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) was showcased as a project to boost development in Africa as it faces a population crunch.
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
French President Emmanuel Macron will host talks in Paris on December 13 on "speeding up deployment" of a five-nation anti-terrorism force in the Sahel, aides said Thursday. Macron "will invite fellow leaders and key partners in the joint force, from the EU, UN, AU (African Union)" a source said, adding that the deployment of the so-called G5 Sahel force "is not moving ahead fast enough." The French leader believes that "the terrorists have scored a number of significant military victories,...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/30/17)
ACCRA (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron fears Islamist militants have scored military and symbolic victories in West Africa while a regional military force has struggled to get off the ground, a French presidential source said on Thursday. To help get the new G5 Sahel force operating effectively, he said, France has invited the United States to a summit with the five participating countries as well as the African Union and European Union in Paris next month. Thousands of U.N...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Mali's justice minister resigned late Monday following the acquittal of a popular radio presenter and activist who alleged that the president and top military leaders were failing to keep the country secure. No official reason was given for Mamadou Ismael Konate's abrupt departure from the government, but a source close to the minister told AFP his decision was "related to the Ras Bath case". Mohamed Youssouf Bathily, alias Ras Bath, himself a minister's son, regularly broadcast tirades against the administration...

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