Sunday 18 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
French air power on Wednesday killed at least 10 jihadists in northeast Mali near the border with Algeria, local and foreign military sources said. "French forces on Wednesday led at least one raid near Tinzaouatene, at the Algerian border, against the terrorists," a local Malian military source told AFP. "There were at least 10 deaths and two vehicles were destroyed." The offensive was part of France's Operation Barkhane, active in Mali as well as four other former French colonies in west Africa -- Mauritania, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso. These countries form the so-called G5 Sahel, a French-supported group that launched a joint military force to combat jihadism last year. The Malian source said the...
(AFP (eng) 02/06/18)
Mali's Supreme Court has ordered the government to pay more than $48 million to a local military equipment firm, in a legal battle dating back to 2014 triggered by corruption allegations. The World Bank and IMF froze aid to Mali that year over state dealings with the supplier Guo Star, and over a separate purchase of a $40 million presidential plane for leader Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. Accusations over the tender process and overbilling tainted the deals. The court said in a judgement made available on Monday that the state should pay Guo Star just over 25 billion CFA francs ($47 million, 38.2 million euros), representing the balance of the contract. It also ordered the state to pay 600 million CFA...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron,...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita declared three days of mourning on Monday for the dozens of people killed over the last week in jihadist attacks and bombings. Keita cancelled travel plans to an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia over the weekend to visit central Mali, a once calm region whose security situation has rapidly deteriorated in the last few years. The president declared a mourning period beginning on Monday "in tribute to all those who have lost their...
(AFP (eng) 01/28/18)
Suspected jihadists killed four Malian soldiers on Sunday in the second deadly attack this weekend in the country's troubled north, local and military officials told AFP. Mali's deteriorating security situation is of growing concern as Al-Qaeda-linked groups mount increasingly ferocious attacks on domestic and foreign forces. "Terrorists have killed four soldiers in Menaka in an attack," a Malian military source said, adding: "They were not able to overrun the military camp. We are now in control of the situation." The...
(AFP (eng) 01/27/18)
Fourteen Malian soldiers were killed and 18 wounded on Saturday in an attack on their camp in Mali's restive north, the army said, while military sources told AFP jihadists were responsible. Mali's deteriorating security situation is of growing concern as Al-Qaeda-linked groups mount increasingly deadly attacks on domestic and foreign forces, and the country's president on Saturday cancelled his visit to an African summit. "The Malian armed forces were attacked early this morning, around 4am, in Soumpi (Timbuktu region). We...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/18)
Thirteen civilians travelling from Burkina Faso were killed on Thursday when their vehicle ran over a landmine in central Mali, local officials and a security source said, giving a provisional toll. "Thirteen Malian and Burkinabe civilians were killed near the town of Boni when their vehicle struck a mine," local official Mahmoud Traore told AFP, as a Malian security source blamed "terrorists" for the blast. "Terrorists uses these mines to spread fear," the source said, adding that the victims of Thursday's blast were killed instantly. Those wounded are in a "critical" condition, according to the source.
(AFP (eng) 01/25/18)
Two Malian customs officers have been killed in a suspected jihadist attack at a market in the small village of Toubakoro, security sources told AFP on Wednesday. "Two customs officers were killed, a terrorist too," according to one source. The attackers arrived in Toubakoro, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of the capital Bamako, on motorcycles and were armed, said another source, adding that, "there was a great panic in the village". "The jihadists were well informed about the comings...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/18)
KLEINARL, Austria (Reuters) - The chilly conditions on an Austrian mountainside belied the warm reception given to people from 15 African countries who took part in an annual luge race aimed at helping migrants integrate into European society. The event over the weekend, dubbed the African Winter Sports Cup, is a luge race contested by people with little or no experience of winter sports. Its aim, over the six years it has been held, is to promote social integration through...
(AFP (eng) 01/18/18)
Britain is set to send helicopters to bolster a key French counter-terrorism operation in Mali in a package of measures to be agreed at a summit near London on Thursday. The commitment will come as Prime Minister Theresa May meets French President Emmanuel Macron at an army base near the British capital, with immigration and global aid also on their agenda. In a separate move, Italy's parliament on Wednesday also approved a ramped up military presence in Niger by agreeing...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/18)
A jihadist group linked to Islamic State has claimed responsibility for attacks on US and French troops in west Africa, in a statement published Friday by Mauritania's ANI news agency. The group, led by Adnan Abu Walid Sahraoui, said it was behind "an attack against an American commando unit in Niger in October." On October 4, four US and four Niger troops were killed in an ambush at Tongo Tongo, a village close to the Mali border. That attack had been blamed on the jihadists but it is only now that the group claimed responsibility.
(AFP (eng) 01/11/18)
Flags flew at half-mast in Mali on Thursday as the government announced 48 of its citizens drowned in the Mediterranean on a single day over the weekend, all trying to reach Europe. The west African nation accounted for the fifth largest contingent of arrivals to Italy by sea last year, according to the International Organization for Migration, fleeing poverty, unemployment and instability. "Forty-eight of our compatriots lost their lives in the Mediterranean on Sunday, January 7," said a foreign ministry...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
Five Sahel countries that have pledged to pool military efforts to fight terrorism have set up a fiduciary fund to oversee donations for their campaign. The decision was made by the defence and foreign ministers of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, Malian Foreign Minister Tieman Hubert Coulibaly said late Monday. Their countries form the so-called G5 Sahel, a French-supported group that last year launched a joint military force to combat jihadism plaguing the region. Pledges last month brought...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to...
(AFP (eng) 12/28/17)
Three soldiers were killed in central Mali on Thursday by a mine blast as they hunted for suspected jihadist fighters, the army announced in a statement. "In their pursuit of the terrorists, the FAMa (Malian armed forces) were victims of a mine explosion," the army said. "The incident took place... in the Bulkessy (Mopti) sector on the border with Burkina Faso." "The casualty toll is three dead and three wounded," added the statement, without giving any further details. On December...
(AFP (eng) 12/21/17)
Mali's army said Thursday it killed five jihadists but lost one soldier repelling an attack in the centre of the vast, landlocked nation. The assault happened at a military outpost near the remote town of Niono at around 0130 GMT, a military statement said. The troops "reacted forcefully, pushing back the assailants," it said. The country, bordering Niger and Burkina Faso, has struggled to defeat Islamist militants who have regularly attacked the military and UN peacekeepers. Jihadist groups allied with...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
A UN peacekeeper from Guinea badly wounded in an attack in northeastern Mali last week has died, the UN mission in the conflict-riven west African country said on Monday. Peacekeepers faced four separate, near simultaneous attacks on Friday night in the city of Kidal, which is currently under the control of former rebels. "The UN peacekeeper from the Guinean contingent who was seriously wounded during one of the attacks on Friday in Kidal died at the Pasteur clinic in Bamako,"...

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