Category Archives: NEWS

Five Mali soldiers killed in jihad

Five soldiers killed in an ambush, the  Malian army representatives said.  According to the statement  the soldiers were travelling between the towns of Hombori and Boni, about 100 km north of the Burkina Faso border, when they fell into an ambush. Their vehicle was also destroyed. Reinforcements have been immediately dispatched. (Image above: Hombori sunset).

It came days after gunmen killed 24 soldiers in an attack on an army unit in neighboring Burkina Faso.

Terrorist attacks targeting local security forces in the Sahel region have increased lately.

Since 2012, Islamists linked to al Qaeda have taken control of northern Mali, exploiting the downfall of Libyan state, and following Tuareg separatist uprising. The fragility of the Sahel region, is cause for international concern.
Despite French intervention and the deployment of joint forces from five Sahel countries, terrorist groups still control a large part of this region and are increasingly influential in Burkina Faso and Niger.

Nigeria: 16 people killed in Katsina

Armed groups have killed 16 people in separate attacks on remote villages, an area plagued by cattle-rustling and kidnappings, in northern Nigeria‘s Katsina state, officials announced. (Image above: illustration).

In separate attacks gunmen on motorcycles stormed the Dantakuri, Tsayau, Barza and Zakka villages on August 19-20, shooting residents and stealing cattle, local authorities reported.

The worst attack happened in Dantakuri, the area’s political administrator Sanusi Dangi Abbas told AFP news agency.

The bandits killed 11 people in Dantakuri. One person was killed and another injured in nearby Barza,” Abbas said. “In all, we lost 12 people in the attacks which began around 17:00 (16:00 GMT) on Sunday,” he said.

Community of Barza identified the victim as the chief imam of the village.

Katsina state police spokesman Anas Gezawa confirmed the attacks but said he was only aware of casualties from Tsayau, where four people were murdered and several herds stolen.

“I can confirm the killing of four people in Tsayau but we are awaiting reports from the other areas,” Gezawa clarified.

The bandits carted away some livestock and the villagers pursued them into the forest to reclaim their animals which led to the death of four people from the village,” he added. “We didn’t put up a fight and no one was hurt but we are still taking stock of the animals the attackers took away,” he said.

Katsina state, the birthplace of President Muhammadu Buhari, has been ravaged by kidnappers and cattle robbers in recent months, prompting villagers to form vigils groups to defend themselves.

 

Russian sailors abducted in Cameroon

The whereabouts of three Russian citizens from the crew of the vessel attacked in the Gulf of Guinea, close to Cameroon port of Douala on August 15, remain unknown,  the Foreign Ministry announced. (Image above: illustration).

“Based on the incoming information, on August 15, near the port of Douala (the Republic of Cameroon), unknown perpetrators attacked a cargo vessel “Marmalaita” belonging to the Danish company Ultrabulk, navigating under the flag of Antigua and Barbuda. According to the recruiting agency Marlow Navigation Russia, located in St. Petersburg, the attackers kidnapped eight members of the crew, among them three citizens of the Russian Federation,” the ministry informed.

According to the Russian Embassy in Yaounde, Cameroonian officials and representatives of the ship-owner company are currently investigating the incident. Russian diplomats actively cooperate with the governmental bodies in Cameroon and ship-owners in order to ensure the release of Russian citizens, the ministry added.

On August 15 the AFP agency reported, citing a Cameroon’s Navy source, that unknown perpetrators had abducted sailors from a vessel near the port of Douala. According to the source, “the kidnappers are probably Nigerian pirates.”

Ebola hits South Kivu

A woman and her child were confirmed with Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s South Kivu region this week, which outlines new challenges in defeating the outbreak.

Health officials expressed their concerns that the latest cases were registered more than 700 km south from the initial epicenter of the outbreak .

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the young woman (24) died, and her 7-month-old son, who is also confirmed to be infected with the Ebola virus, is receiving a relevant treatment.

Ebola disease has killed at least 1,900 people in Congo over the past year.

Zimbabwe protests stemmed

Movement for Democratic Change  (MDC) party the leading opposition force in Zimbabwe gave up to government pressure, calling off a street protest planned for August 16. 

The of street demonstrations scheduled by the MDC, which accuses the government of corruption and economic mismanagement, are viewed as a screening of President Emmerson Mnangagwa  disposition toward dissent in view of the Zimbabwe legacy of repressions of democratic political competition. 

However the police did not allow the “examination” to take place,  banning the protest foreseen in the capital Harare, explaining it would turn violent, and warned that anyone taking part would be committing a crime.

A High Court judge early on August 16 dismissed the MDC complaint with a demand to overturn that ban, and the party spokesman Daniel Molokele said the Movement will proceed with the scheduled demonstration.

At the moment there in no information about cancellation of protests planned next week in other cities, presumably they would go ahead.

The Government of Zimbabwe must do more to deliver the promised fundamental political and economic reforms and take responsibility for the humanitarian crisis affecting the people. The UK stands with the people of Zimbabwe at a time when million are at risk of starvation and diseases. Through trusted partners we will continue to give families access to food and clean water and support children to gain a decent education,” said Alok Sharma, the United Kingdom International Development Secretary.

Following a United Nations appeal concerning Zimbabwe, facing a chronic food crisis, Mr.Sharma has announced an allocation of a £49 million UKAID Fund which is meant to support and help malnourished children, families and communities.

Without  support from outside the country more than 5, 5 million people in Zimbabwe will be deprived of food by 2020, according the the latest estimates.

France: tribute to Africans soldiers

Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to the Second World War heroes of the landing in Provence on August 15, 1944, a majority of African soldiers who wrote this “crucial page” of the history of France, imprinted it with “freedom and dignity“. African participation amounted up to a half  of the French contingent, indigenous soldiers from what are now some two dozen independent countries.

France has a part of Africa in it and on the soil of this Provence, this part was that of bloodshed”, Macron said during his visit to Saint-Raphaël (Var). Alongside President Guinean Alpha Condé and his counterpart from Cote d’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara, French head of state laid a wreath in honor of died of this battle.

Emmanuel Macron has called on the mayors of France to “bring to life” the memory of African soldiers who fell in battle during the Second World War by giving their names to streets and squares, because the African fighters have not had the “glory and esteem that their bravery deserved”.

We will never forget anything or anyone;” he said. “This is a crucial page in our history,” he added. “You have restored our country’s freedom and dignity.”

Two months after the landing of Normandy, 250,000 men of the French army, supported by more than 120,000 soldiers of the Allied forces, land on the shores of Provence.

A military choir sang “The Song of the Africans,” while some veterans chanted with them. Fighter jets flew over the necropolis, trailing blue, white and red smoke to represent the French flag.

The former President of the Republic Nicolas Sarkozy appeared among the invited by Emmanuel Macron to the ceremony 75th anniversary of the landing of Provence in Saint-Raphael, in the Var.

Mali: Barkhane operation continues

The French General Staff informed about an operation carried out from 25 July to 3 August 2019  in Mali by Barkhane  and the Malian Armed Forces, underlining “the ability and determination of the Malian soldiers to fight alongside Barkhane“.

The 4,500 French troops deployed in former French colonies for ‘Operation Barkhane’ face huge logistical challenges in hostile terrain. The major difficulty is cooperation with a civilian population spread haphazardly across vast and remote spaces, often either sympathetic to the Islamists or terrified of informing about them.

In Gossi, a plagued by Islamic State fighters next to the borders with Burkina Faso and Niger, the town’s local government Councillor had fled after being threatened and found refuge in the Malian base, according to the French Commander.

Operation Barkhane was launched in the wake of Operation Serval, a French offensive that pushed back Tuareg rebels and allied Islamists from northern Mali’s vast desert in 2013.

While Serval had brought moderate stability to northern Mali, unrest had spread to the country’s more populated center, with attacks also reaching neighboring Burkina Faso, Niger and even Ivory Coast.

With no end date announced at its launch, the follow-up operation would try to stabilise countries in the region by assisting their governments in a West African anti-terrorism force. Five years on, no end is in sight.

“We have a dogged adversary, who is tough, drawing from a breeding ground that is favourable to him because the population is isolated,” Colonel Nicolas James, Commander of Desert Tactical Croup Belleface.

Today the radical Islam is actively exploiting modern means of communications, that is why patrol has to search not only for weapons, but also for propaganda in smartphones. When conducting operations, they have to screen the content of smartphones of locals to detect incriminating  jihad propaganda.

On a rare trip with the French troops into central Mali, Reuters journalists were searching for answers why a five-year-old mission, initially planned as a short-term operation to hand over to local forces, may have many more years left to run.

Back in 2018 the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, General François Lecointre said: “I do not think that it is possible to solve the problem in Mali in less than ten to fifteen years, if we can at all. The evolution of the situation in Mali is not satisfactory and we will not leave tomorrow, leaving it in stagnation“.

The Barkhane operation relays on €600 millions a year funding.

In spite of being ranked as the third largest in Africa resource of gold, Mali remains of the poorest countries in the world, dependent on international aid. Main gold mines, Sadiola and Morila still constitute the model, which is named “gold-dependent economy”, providing the state with more than a half of export revenue. The average wage in Mali is around a euro per day, and more than half of the population currently lives below poverty line.

 

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