Sunday 25 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 06/24/17)
Mali's government and armed groups which signed a 2015 peace deal have relaunched talks aimed at speeding up its implementation after several delays, they told AFP Saturday. The accord signed in 2015 aimed at curbing separatist uprisings in Mali's north after a 2012 rebellion was hijacked by jihadists, throwing the nation into chaos. But several of its key planks have yet to be fully implemented, while jihadists continue to roam the north and centre of the country, despite being ousted from key northern towns by a French-led military intervention in 2013. Malian lawmaker...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
Mali on Wednesday delayed a constitutional referendum due to be held on July 9 in the face of heavy political opposition and street protests. The vote was aimed at enshrining elements of a 2015 peace deal into the charter and establishing a senate in parliament, but came under intense scrutiny in recent weeks. The cabinet "has decided to delay the referendum initially planned for July 9 to a future date," a statement issued by the government said, without providing a reason or a new date for the vote. The referendum faced opposition from those who say it gives President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita excessive powers. Detractors also said such a vote could not be held safely in the troubled north, which...
(The Associated Press 06/21/17)
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Thursday welcoming the deployment of a 5,000-strong African force to fight the growing threat from extremists in the vast Sahel region after it was watered down to meet U.S. demands. France's U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre called it "a landmark resolution" that brings "strong and decisive support" from the U.N.'s most powerful body to the five countries contributing troops - Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger and Chad. The United...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Mali's former rebel alliance on Tuesday rejected a national reconciliation charter unveiled on the second anniversary of the signing a peace deal with the government, underscoring the country's fraying peace process. Ex-rebels of the Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA) signed a peace deal on June 20, 2015 aimed at curbing separatist uprisings in Mali's north after a 2012 rebellion was hijacked by jihadists, throwing the nation into chaos. A ceremony to hand the president the national reconciliation charter written...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
The UN Security Council will vote Wednesday on a draft resolution that would pave the way for the deployment of a five-nation African military force to fight jihadists in the Sahel region. The vote was scheduled for 1400 GMT after France reached a deal with the United States on the proposed measure, which welcomes the deployment but does not give it full UN authorization, according to the agreed text seen by AFP. Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger --...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations Security Council is set to vote on Wednesday on a draft resolution to back a West African force to combat terrorism and arms, drug and human trafficking in the Sahel region after France weakened the language in a bid to appease the United States. The vast, arid region has in recent years become a breeding ground for jihadist groups - some linked to al-Qaida and Islamic State - that European nations, particularly France, fear...
(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...
(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 ...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 06/07/17)
France will ask the UN Security Council to authorize an African military force for the Sahel region that will be sent to root out jihadists and drug traffickers, the French ambassador said Tuesday. A French-drafted resolution is expected to be presented this week to the Security Council, which could vote on the measure as early as next week. Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- which make up the G5 -- agreed in March to set up the force...
(AFP (eng) 06/06/17)
The EU is giving 50 million euros to set up a joint African military force in the Sahel region to fight jihadists, the bloc's foreign affairs chief said Monday. The funds will help pay for the troops to fight terrorism, cross-border crime and illegal immigration, European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said in the Mali capital Bamako. "Stability and development of the Sahel region are crucial not only for Africa but also for Europe," said Mogherini. "This contribution will arrive...
(Xinhuanet 06/06/17)
Delegates of an African conference in solidarity with Cuba on Monday called on the United States to lift its over 50-year economic blockade against Cuba. "We applaud the positive development in this respect and we commend the U.S. government and Cuba for their efforts towards normalizing of ties," said Namibian President Hage Geingob, officially opening the fifth Continental Africa Conference in Solidarity with Cuba here on Monday. "However, there is still much ground left to cover to ensure the complete...
(AFP (eng) 06/05/17)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday joined West African leaders at a summit in Liberia, where they hailed peacekeeping efforts in the region but warned about threats to stability. Netanyahu, who had visited east Africa in July 2016, vowed that they had "no better partner" than his country after he was received by Liberian President and outgoing head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. "Israel is coming back to Africa and Africa is...
(Graphic Online 05/31/17)
Ghana and Mali have pledged to work to strengthen cooperation between the two countries. In a joint communiqué issued at the end of a day’s working visit to Mali by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last Sunday, the two countries agreed to reinforce their co-operation in the areas of trade, agriculture, security and the process of West African integration. They also re-affirmed their commitment to the implementation of the ECOWAS protocols on the free movement of goods and persons. On...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/27/17)
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations met African heads of state on Saturday, the final day of their annual summit which has been marked by discord over climate change, but unity on tackling terrorism. Italy had hoped to make Africa the major focus of the annual G7 gathering, holding the discussions on the island of Sicily that has taken in hundreds of thousands of migrants over the past four years as they flee war and poverty back home...
(Xinhuanet 05/24/17)
China is willing to strengthen cooperation with African countries within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Monday. Speaking at a press conference, Wang said his current visit to four African countries comes right after the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was successfully held in Beijing. The four countries, i.e. Mauritania, Cape Verde, Mali and Cote d'Ivoire, have all expressed willingness to participate in China's Belt and Road...
(Xinhuanet 05/24/17)
The UN Security Council on Tuesday condemned "in the strongest terms" a terrorist attack that killed two Chadian peacekeepers in Mali. "The members of the Security Council called on the government of Mali to swiftly investigate these attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice,"said the 15-nation council in a unanimous statement. While expressing concern about the security situation in Mali, the Security Council urged Malian parties to fully implement their peace agreement without further delay. The two peacekeepers were killed...
(AFP (eng) 05/19/17)
President Emmanuel Macron visited French troops fighting jihadists in conflict-torn Mali on Friday and urged faster progress on a peace accord signed in 2015. At the end of his first week in office, Macron flew into Gao, a city in Mali's deeply-troubled north, where he was met by his Malian counterpart Ibrahim Boubacar Keita before sitting down for talks. Macron was keen to display his defence and security credentials with around 1,600 French soldiers stationed in Gao at France's largest...
(AFP (eng) 05/19/17)
President Emmanuel Macron on Friday visits conflict-torn Mali, where French troops have been fighting jihadists for four years, in his first official visit outside Europe after taking power. He will address French soldiers stationed in the city of Gao in Mali's deeply troubled north. The French base there has 1,600 soldiers -- the biggest outside the country. The troops are part of Operation Barkhane, a French counterterror operation whose mission is to target jihadist groups operating in the Sahel region south of the Sahara Desert. Set up in 2014, the operation comprises around 4,000 soldiers who are deployed across five countries
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
The United Nations Security Council has condemned “in the strongest terms” a rocket attack on the peacekeeping camp in Mali that killed one and wounded nine others. The council is demanding the Malian government swiftly investigate the attack and bring those responsible to justice. It stressed that under international law, targeting peacekeepers may be a war crime. Islamic extremists calling themselves Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims is claiming responsibility for Wednesday’s rocket attack on the camp in...

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