Tag Archives: Mali

EU increases support to Sahel

Brussels 20.10.2020 Today, the European Union, Denmark and Germany and the United Nations co-host a virtual Ministerial Roundtable on Africa’s Central Sahel region, with the participation of donors and international organisations, as well as the countries concerned: Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. The event will discuss longer-term perspectives for countries in the region to overcome the spiral of violence and humanitarian crises they are currently facing. It also aims at mobilising support for the region, especially as coronavirus pandemic increases humanitarian needs.

Representing the EU at the event, Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, will pledge a total of €43.6 million on behalf of the EU to the three countries in the Central Sahel region for the rest of 2020.

“Throughout recent years, the EU has been particularly committed to the Sahel and international support provided has been significant. Yet, the security, social and humanitarian situation in Central Sahel is only deteriorating. In face of this dramatically worsening situation, together – the international community and the governments concerned – we must do better, more and act fast. Only by addressing the deep-rooted causes can we succeed in providing a better life to the people caught in the crises afflicting the region” Lenarčič said.

“Today’s conference is a very clear sign of our solidarity towards the Sahel region and its people. Our €20 million support to the World Food Programme will help the most vulnerable in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, and especially pregnant and breastfeeding women and young children. We hope to assist 65,000 people next year with this project. If we all join forces along the peace-development-humanitarian nexus and our partner countries take responsibility for improving governance and reforms, I am convinced that we can make a difference for the people in the Sahel. Team Europe will keep on supporting the people of Sahel” Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships said.

The EU’s pledge consists of: €23.6 million in funding for humanitarian actions in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
€20 million in development funding to address the food crisis afflicting the Central Sahel region, in cooperation with the World Food Programme.
Overall, EU and the EU Member States have mobilised around €8 billion since 2014 to help stabilise the Sahel region.

Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger are at the core of one of the world’s fastest growing humanitarian crises created by a combination of conflict, climatic changes and poverty. It is estimated that a staggering 13.4 million people across the Central Sahel are in need of humanitarian assistance.

In 2020, the EU has mobilised a total €84.6 million in humanitarian assistance for Central Sahel countries, including the amount that will be pledged today. In June 2020, the EU also organised two EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flights to Burkina Faso, carrying 26 tonnes of humanitarian supplies and equipment needed for the coronavirus response in the country.

Since 2014, the EU has invested more than €3.4 billion in development cooperation for the three Central Sahel countries Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, with the objective to strengthen the capacities of the state in the long term, while providing a short and medium-term response to the needs of the most vulnerable population. The investments covered a broad range of areas: from security; good governance; transparency; public finance; the respect of human rights to basic social services (education, food security and health).

MALI: 25 perished in attacks

Islamist militants are suspected to be a group behind the killing 25 people including 13 soldiers in multiple attacks in central Mali, burning down an army base and ambushing troops sent as reinforcements, the army and local authorities said on October 13.

The attacks were the deadliest since the August 18 military coup d’état ousting unpopular President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, and came just days after scores of jailed jihadists were freed by the interim government in a prisoners for hostages swap.

Nine soldiers were killed in the first attack that took place overnight against a base in Sokoura near the border with Burkina Faso, the army statement reads.

At around 8:30 a.m. (0830 GMT) on Tuesday, on October 13, another three soldiers were killed in an ambush at a bridge near the base as their unit headed to the scene of the first attack, the army statement explains.

Nine militants were killed in clashes with the reinforcement unit and two of their vehicles destroyed by the air force.

In a third assault about 40 minutes later near the town of Bandiagara, gunmen ambushed a commercial truck, killing 12 traders and one soldier, according to Moulaye Guindo, the mayor of nearby Bankass, to which the traders were en route.

A witness said he saw nine bodies at the military base and helped transport 20 wounded to local medical centres.

“They (jihadists) took all the vehicles and burned those they could not take away. The camp is burned,” said the witness, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal.

A transitional government has been appointed since the military coup. But regional and international powers fear the violence could further destabilise the West African nation and undermine a French-directed military campaign against insurgents linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State in the wider Sahel region.

Mali: 25 perished in Islamist’s attack

Brussels 13.10.2020 Suspected Islamist militants killed 25 people including 13 soldiers in multiple raids in central Mali, burning down an army base and ambushing troops sent as reinforcements, the army and local authorities informed.

The attacks were the deadliest since the August 18 coup d’état that overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, and came just days after two hundred jihadists were freed by the interim government in a hostage for prisoners swap.

Nine soldiers were killed in the first attack that took place overnight against a base in Sokoura near the border with Burkina Faso, an army statement said.

Selon des sources locales, le bilan de cette attaque est de 14 morts dont 2 militaires.

At around 8:30 a.m. (0830 GMT) on October 13, another three soldiers were killed in an ambush at a bridge near the base as their unit headed to the scene of the first attack, it said.

Nine militants were killed in clashes with the reinforcement unit and two of their vehicles destroyed by the air force.

In a third assault about 40 minutes later near the town of Bandiagara, gunmen ambushed a commercial truck, killing 12 traders and one soldier, according to Moulaye Guindo, the mayor of nearby Bankass, to which the traders were en route.

An eye witness said he saw nine bodies at the military base and helped transport 20 wounded to local medical centres.

“They (jihadists) took all the vehicles and burned those they could not take away. The camp is burned,” said the witness, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal, Reuters News Agency reports.

A transitional government has been appointed since the military coup d’état. However regional and international powers fear the violence could further destabilise the West African nation and undermine a French-directed military campaign against insurgents linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State in the Sahel region.

Mali: last French hostage liberated

Brussels 09.10.2020 AMENDED: First images of Mme.Sophie Pétronin, 75, from Bamako Airport, Mali, where she was embraced by her son Sebastian. At present her state of health is unknown, she appeared on video, released by her kidnappers very fragile.

Brussels 8.10.2020 The Presidency of the French Republic confirms the release of Mr. Soumaïla Cissé and Ms. Sophie Pétronin. The ex-hostages are on their way to Bamako”, writes the presidency of Mali on his Twitter account.

The last French hostage in the world, Ms.Sophie Pétronin, captive since December 2016 in the Sahel, and Malian opponent Soumaïla Cissé are free and on their way to Bamako, the Malian presidency announced Thursday evening.

Two Italian hostages, Nicola Chiacchio and missionary Pier Luigi Maccalli, who were also detained in the north of the country, the scene of a jihadist insurgency, were also released, the presidency of Mali announced later in the evening in a statement. read on national television.

In Paris, Emmanuel Macron said in a statement released by the Elysee Palace that he had learned “with immense relief” of the release of Sophie Pétronin.

“Happy to know that she is free, he sends a message of sympathy to his family and loved ones,” the presidential statement continued. “The President of the Republic also welcomes the release on the same occasion of Mr. Soumaïla Cissé, Malian politician kidnapped six months ago.”

The head of state “particularly thanks the Malian authorities for this release. He assures them of France’s entire will to support Mali in the fight it is waging with perseverance against terrorism in the Sahel ”.

Aged 75, Sophie Pétronin, who headed a small Franco-Swiss NGO helping malnourished children, was kidnapped on December 24, 2016 in Gao, in northern Mali.

In a video released in June 2018 – the most recent – she appeared very tired and challenged Emmanuel Macron, believing that the head of state had “forgotten” her.

In November of the same year, his captors had issued a press release stating a “deterioration of his health” and blamed the French government for which, according to them, “stubbornness” “prevented” the closure of this. “case”.

On April 1, we learned that the French authorities had “proof of life” from Sophie Pétronin dating back to “early March”, according to her son, Sébastien Chadaud-Pétronin.

The latter had left for Bamako on Tuesday in the hope of his mother’s release soon.

“I’ve been saying I believe it for four years and I’m a big liar because there are a bunch of times I didn’t believe it. And then there, I could not believe it any more “, he reacted Thursday evening at the microphone of France Info.

“I can’t even realize it yet, I think I haven’t realized yet. She’s on the plane. There is now a bunch of odds that we meet again, I think we can tell, ”he added, his voice filled with emotion.

Popular opponent Soumaïla Cissé, who was finance minister between 1993 and 2000, was kidnapped in March while campaigning in the Timbuktu region in the north of the country.

Reportedly two hundred jihadists were liberated as a part of a deal to liberate Mme.Pétronin, and Mr.Cissé.

EU supports Mali transition

“The European Union welcomes the appointment of the President of the Transition Mr. Bah N’daw, the Prime Minister Mr. Moctar Ouane, as well as the entry into office of a government paving the way for a civil transition in Mali for a period 18 months. The European Union welcomes the lifting of the sanctions adopted against Mali following the events of August 18, after several weeks of negotiations carried out with determination by the Economic Community of West African States”, reads the statement by High Representative Josep Borrell on the appointment of the President of the Transition and the new government.

“These conditions now being met, the European Union is ready to support the Transition on the one hand, to organize credible elections leading to the reestablishment of constitutional order, and on the other hand to carry out priority reforms to deal with structural challenges. and long term from Mali. This transition period constitutes an important window of opportunity to recreate a national pact around more accountable and more inclusive public institutions, as has been clearly expressed by the Malian people. As part of a demanding partnership, the European Union will be particularly attentive to concrete actions, particularly in the areas of governance, the fight against impunity, the fight against corruption, more efficient, more transparent and more accountable management. defense and security forces, as well as a more effective presence of State services in the most fragile regions for the benefit of the populations. The implementation of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement, as underlined by President N’daw in his inaugural address, remains an imperative”.

Mali ECOWAS lifts sanctions

Leaders of the West African regional bloc ECOWAS have lifted sanctions imposed on Mali following the August 18 coup d’état that ousted unpopular President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the group said on October 6.

The crippling sanctions on landlocked Mali were lifted following the nomination of retired Colonel Bah Ndaw as interim president, and Moctar Ouane as prime minister of the transition that is expected to last 18 months, the statement said.

“Taking into account the notable progress made towards a constitutional normalisation, and the support the process, the heads of states have decided to lift the sanctions on Mali, and called on partners to support Mali,” said the statement, signed by the chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Mali’s transitional leaders announced a new government on October 5, with some of the top posts going to military officials.

MALI: Ms.Pétronin hostage liberation

The son of the French-Swiss humanitarian worker Sophie Pétronin, the last French hostage in the Sahel since her kidnapping by armed men linked to Al Qaeda at the end of 2016, flew to Bamako, Mali, on October 6, in the hope of his soon being released.

Sophie Pétronin, 75, was kidnapped on December 24, 2016 in Gao, northern Mali, where she ran a children’s aid organization.

This morning Sébastien Chadaud-Pétronin, who has traveled to Mali several times in an attempt to secure his mother’s release, has confirmed to a several news agencies that he had boarded a commercial flight to Bamako.

“There is still nothing official,” he said shortly before his plane took off. However, he referred to converging information coming from “reliable sources”.

According to a French security source in the Sahel, the hostages are being transferred to Bamako.

In a fragile state, the French humanitarian aid worker Sophie Pétronin should be released at the same time as the Malian opponent Soumaïla Cissé, kidnapped in March by a group linked to Al Qaeda, as part of a prisoner exchange, said three security sources.

More than 200 jihadists have been released in the past two days, according to security sources in Mali. (Image below: Strasbourg).

EU awaits ECOWAS decision on Mali

Brussels 04.10.2020 The EU once again reiterated its full support to ECOWAS on the issue of lifting Mali sanctions, imposed by West Africa the regional powers.  Meanwhile the transitional government is hopeful that sanctions placed on Mali by ECOWAS are likely to be lifted soon. Mali’s newly appointed transitional President, Bah Ndaw held a meeting with the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Permanent Representative to Mali, Boly Hamidou to discuss the blockade problem, which has grave consequences for population of the country, and neighbourhood regions, involved in cross-border trade.

“After the swearing-in of the President of the Transition, Mr. Bah N’daw on September 25, the appointment of a civilian prime minister, Mr. Moctar Ouane, on Sunday, September 27, we are following the developments in view of the Transition on a track in accordance with ECOWAS requirements” said the EU spokesperson to Africa Diplomatic, while commenting on the issue. “In this context, the EU awaits the decision of ECOWAS regarding the sanctions imposed on Mali.” 

“The confirms her readiness to work in close collaboration with the UN / AU / ECOWAS Follow-up Committee in support of a successful transition. The EU gives full support to ECOWAS, whose heads of state are calling for a transfer of power to a transition led by a civilian President and Prime Minister, who can ensure the transition to a return to constitutional order” the spokesperson has underlined.

ECOWAS requires that the position of vice president, instituted by the board, be deprived of the prerogative to replace the president if the latter is unable to exercise the position. The post of vice president was handed over to the head of the military who led the coup d’état – Colonel Assimi Goita.

ECOWAS is concerned that the army may regain control in a transition in which it already plays a prominent role. The position of vice-president and his duties must be included in a “letter,” a kind of fundamental document, to which the board refers to organize the transition.

However, no final official version of this text, according to which the president and vice president took office on September 25, has not been published. ECOWAS is requesting the publication of this document. A source close to the Mali officers said it could be revealed soon but would remain anonymous.

Meanwhile Nigeria President Buhari is reluctant to lift up sanctions, after the meeting with the Special Envoy to present a formal report to the new ECOWAS Chairman, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, “who will then write us officially, and we then determine the next steps.”

The Nigerian President said with about two-thirds of Mali currently under occupation by terrorists, “the priority of the military should be to secure their country,” rather than hold on to power, former army General Buhari said. Buhari is a retired general of the Nigerian Army and served as military head of state from 1983 to 1985, after taking power in a military coup d’état.

Mali: Moctar OUANE transition Prime Minister

Moctar Ouane,64, the Malian career diplomat and politician has been appointed as transition Prime-minister of Mali. He served in the government of Mali as Minister of Foreign Affairs from May 2004 to April 2011. Among other high status appointments he served as Mali’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1995 to 2002.

After leaving office as Foreign Minister in 2011, Ouane became Diplomatic Adviser to the West African Economic and Monetary Union (ECOWAS) in January 2014.

EU: Mali Ba N’Daou – man of “integrity”

Brussels 22.09.2020 The European Union reacted positively on appointment of the former Defence Minister Ba N’Daou,70, as an interim President of Mali. The member of government, and close ally of late President Traoré, he is seen as man of needed qualities to lead the transition period, phrased for his “independence” and “integrity”.

“The nomination of Mr.Ba N’Daou as an interim President is a big step forward. There will be 18 months transition period, this allows the organisation of the elections to return to Constitutional order. Appointed by the inclusive committee of 17 persons, this person is a retired colonel, well-known for his integrity and independence, meeting the requirements formulated by the ECOWAS for the transition period led by civilians. In the current fragile context the choice of the Prime Minister who should also be a civilian will be very important for the legitimacy of the transition period”, the EU diplomacy spokesperson said, while commenting on developments in Mali.

Former Defence Minister of late President Traoré, and a carreer military, Ba N’Daou is held in high esteem by his compatriots, known for his integrity, and high professionalism.
The National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), led by Coloenl Assimi Goita, announced on September 21 that Ba N’Daou was appointed as President of the new transitional government for the period of 18 months.
Mali’s new head of state was born on August 23, 1950 in San in the Ségou region of Mali, ten years before Mali’s independence. After obtaining the baccalaureate, he was conscripted into the army on June 1, 1973 at the age of 23. As an excellent solider he was appointed by the Malian military authorities to take a helicopter pilot course in the USSR the following year.

The new leader of the transition is not a new public figure to Malians, known since he was l’aide-de-camp to the former president of Mali, the late General Moussa Traoré who died on September 15, 2020, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Deputy Chief of Staff of the national guard, director of military engineering, chief of defence cabinet at the prime minister’s office, director general of equipment for the armed forces, official in charge of the MDAC. A remarkable career crowned with designation and appointment.

Thus, in 2008, he was promoted to director of the national office for retired military veterans and victims of war (ONAC). An officer of the national order, he was decorated with the medal of military merit and that of national merit.

The young soldier nicknamed “The Great” he joined the all new air force. holds a higher military study certificate in France. He was also patented from the School of War (CID) in 1994. He was in the 7th promotion (1973 in the Combined Arms School (EMIA) of Koulikoro.

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