Wednesday 22 November 2017
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
A district judge was kidnapped in central Mali late on Thursday, police and security sources told AFP, two weeks after a High Court justice escaped an attempt on his life. Attacks on figures of state authority are common in northern and central Mali, where a jihadist insurgency and the near absence of government functions have fuelled lawlessness. "Judge Soungalo Kone was kidnapped on Thursday night by armed men who arrived at his house in Niono in a white vehicle," a local police source in the Segou region told AFP, referring to the town where Kone lives and works.
(Xinhua 11/17/17)
The Algerian army on Thursday discovered a large batch of weapons on the border with Mali, a statement from the defense ministry said. The arms were hidden in a bunch in the locality of Bordj Badji Mokhtar in the southernmost province of Adrar, according to the statement. The weapons consist of an FMPK machine gun, nine pistols, a Kalashnikov machine gun, an RPG-7 rocket launcher, four semi-automatic rifles, a repeating rifle and a large quantity of ammunition. It is not the first time that the Algerian army has found weapon bunkers along the southern and southeastern borders. Located in a region plagued by unprecedented security and political instability, Algeria faces constant terrorist threats. The North African nation has deployed tens...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/13/17)
NIAMEY/NAIROBI (Reuters) - When Doundou Chefou first took up arms as a youth a decade ago, it was for the same reason as many other ethnic Fulani herders along the Niger-Mali border: to protect his livestock. He had nothing against the Republic of Niger, let alone the United States of America. His quarrel was with rival Tuareg cattle raiders. Yet on Oct. 4 this year, he led dozens of militants allied to Islamic State in a deadly assault against allied...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Ministers from 13 European and African countries on Monday pledged steps to ease the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean, vowing especially to improve conditions for migrants held in Libya. Interior ministers and other representatives from countries impacted by the ongoing wave of migration up through Africa towards Europe, including Libya, voiced deep concern over the "ongoing human tragedy" along the so-called Central Mediterranean route. "The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route...
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
An Al-Qaeda affiliate in Mali on Wednesday claimed responsibility for four attacks on Malian and United Nations troops that it said killed six soldiers. The Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen (NIM) said in statements that it had attacked a police post in Segou on Sunday, capturing weapons and a motorcycle. On Monday, "fighters ambushed Malian and MINUSMA (UN mission in Mali) forces near the city of Konna in Mopti, killing six soldiers," according to a report carried by the US monitoring...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/09/17)
SEVARE, Mali (Reuters) - Snipers from a new West African force lie prone on a rooftop in central Mali, scanning the horizon for Islamist militants who have infiltrated this sparsely populated region south of the Sahara and made it a launchpad for deadly attacks. Thousands of U.N. peacekeepers, French troops and U.S. military trainers and drone operators have failed to stem a growing wave of jihadist violence, leading international powers to pin their hopes on a new regional force. But...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
A senior UN official, on a visit to Mali, has warned about "violations committed during anti-terrorist operations" after Bamako said French troops killed Malian soldiers during a raid against jihadists. An official from Mali's defence ministry on Tuesday confirmed that Malian soldiers captured by jihadists were among 15 people killed in an anti-terrorist operation by French forces last month. "Our soldiers held captive by jihadists were definitely killed during the French anti-terrorist operation in the north of Mali," the official,...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/17)
PARIS (Reuters) - Malian soldiers killed by a French military strike in northern Mali last month were deserters who had joined an Islamist militant group, a French source close to the matter said on Tuesday. That contradicted comments from the Malian Defense Ministry, which said on Monday that the soldiers killed in the Oct. 23 strike, a raid on a camp of the Ansar Dine militant group, had been its hostages. The French source said the raid was carried out...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
A dozen other students look on as Umar Amadu uses a glass pipette to draw a solution from a conical flask as part of a chemistry experiment. It could be a scene from any school laboratory around the world, but until two months ago Amadu and his fellow students had no access to any science equipment. Science subjects at his rural secondary school outside the city of Katsina in northern Nigeria were taught using theory only. But now they have...
(AFP (eng) 11/07/17)
The maiden mission of a counterterrorism force that aims to tackle jihadist groups in the troubled Sahel experienced "logistical problems" but they are not "insurmountable", according to the military's first appraisal of the operation. The G5 Sahel force -- an initiative comprising Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- last week began its first operation, dubbed Hawbi, with French military support. "It's the first mission. We have lots of lessons to learn, but I don't think it is insurmountable,"...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] is growing rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa and considering moves into more markets, despite sometimes violent opposition from metered taxi drivers, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Uber’s service has triggered protests by rivals from London to New Delhi as it up-ends traditional business models that require professional drivers to pay steep licensing fees to do business. “We are bullish on Africa. The growth here is still substantial and we think...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa’s mobile internet connections are set to double in the next five years, a study showed on Monday, thanks to affordable smartphones and the roll-out of high-speed networks. A report by research and consulting firm Ovum in London estimates that mobile broadband connections will rise from 419 million at the end of this year to 1.07 billion by the end of 2022. “Data connectivity is growing strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
In a cloud of ochre dust, a column of army pickup trucks slowly advances on a dirt road near Mali's border with Burkina Faso -- one of the world's hotspots for jihadism. The national flag of Mali flaps in the wind: an appropriate symbol for a brand-new force whose first task is to assure terrified locals that governance is returning to lawless lands. "We are here to secure the zone and to reassure people that they can live a normal...
(AFP (eng) 11/01/17)
A joint anti-jihadist force linking countries in the Sahel began operations on Wednesday, the French military mission in the region, which is providing support, told AFP. "The deployment of Malian, Nigerien and Burkinabe troops in the G5 Sahel force began this morning," said a colonel for France's Barkhane mission, speaking on condition that only his first name of Marc-Antoine was used. Several hundred troops have been deployed in the initial operation, codenamed Hawbi, he said. It will "provide a show...
(AFP (eng) 11/01/17)
A campaign group for two French journalists murdered in Mali four years ago said Wednesday they had received information that "two or three" people involved in the killings may be in Algeria. Speaking to the press in Dakar after being briefed on the state of the investigation, the group said they believed "major suspects" had been identified. Journalists Ghislaine Dupont, 57, and Claude Verlon, 55, working for France's state-owned world news service RFI, were abducted and killed in Kidal, in...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
(Reuters) - The U.S. Navy is investigating whether two members of the elite SEAL Team Six may have been involved in the death of an Army Green Beret in Mali in June, defense officials said on Sunday. The United States has special operations forces stationed in Bamako, Mali’s capital, performing training and counterterrorism missions. U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said investigators suspected that Staff Sergeant Logan Melgar did not die from natural causes. Melgar, 34, had served two...
(AFP (eng) 10/27/17)
Three UN peacekeepers in northern Mali were killed Thursday and another two injured when their vehicle struck a "mine or an improvised explosive device," the United Nations Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said. The blast occurred at around 1430 GMT when the vehicle was escorting "a logistical convoy" north of Kidal, on a highway between Tessalit and Aguelhok, it said in a statement, adding that the toll was still provisional. "Following the explosion, three peacekeepers lost their lives and two others...
(AFP (eng) 10/26/17)
An organisation linked to al-Qaeda on Thursday claimed an attack in northern Mali that killed two soldiers, the US monitoring group SITE said. Claims were made by Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen, the Mali-based branch of al-Qaeda, on the "Telegram" channel of the group's so-called Al-Zallaqa Media Foundation, it said. "Fighters mounted a surprise attack on the Malian army position in Soumpi, killing two soldiers and burning military vehicles as well as those belonging to Sogea-Satom,"
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Elephant poaching in Africa declined for a fifth straight year in 2016 but seizures of illegal ivory hit records highs, the CITES monitor said Tuesday, calling it a "conflicting phenomena". In its latest report, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species also noted that despite the overall fall in poaching, Africa's elephant population has continued to drop "due to continued illegal killing, land transformation and rapid human expansion." Global illegal ivory trade has remained relatively stable for six years,...

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