Bamako (AFP) A Malian human rights association on Friday called for the immediate resumption of the trial of former coup leader Amadou Sanogo, who is accused of murdering 21 soldiers in 2012. Sanogo, a former army captain who staged a military coup in Mali the same year, went on trial in November 2016 charged with murdering the men, whose bodies were found in a mass grave, but the case has stalled after the defence rejected a forensic analysis of their remains. “We want a rapid resumption of the trial ofRead More
Bamako (AFP) A Malian army general and former government minister has resigned his post to stand in the country’s presidential elections in July 2018, sources close to the officer said Sunday. Moussa Sinko Coulibaly is the second person to declare his candidacy, after Kalifa Sanogo, the mayor of Mali’s second-largest city, Sikasso, who announced his bid in July. They are hoping to unseat President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who has not yet said if he will seek a second five-year term, though he is widely expected to do so. In hisRead More
Bamako (AFP) Four UN peacekeepers and a Malian soldier were killed in attacks in Mali on Friday, the UN’s MINUSMA mission to the country said. Twenty people, including another Malian soldier and several UN peacekeepers were injured in the attacks. The first attack happened in the morning in the northeastern Menaka region and claimed the lives of three peacekeepers and a Malian soldier, MINUSMA said, adding that 16 other UN troops and a civilian were injured. It did not give the nationalities of the UN forces involved but contingents fromRead More
Gao (Mali) (AFP) Among the lines of small mud houses, plastic litter and piles of parched earth, children gaze skywards at a shiny blue tank perched on steel legs. It holds a vital resource of which they have been deprived for years: water. In a world where more than a billion people lack access to water, residents of this dusty corner of Gao, the main city in Mali’s sprawling arid north, know the terrifying consequences of drought — and today is a time for celebration. “Before, I had to walkRead More
Bamako (AFP) France has sent high-level representatives to talk to the Malian government after a French anti-terror raid killed Malian troops held by the jihadists. Defence Minister Tiena Coulibaly met on October 31 with the French ambassador and the commander of France’s military force in Mali, according to a ministry communique received by AFP on Monday. They discussed a night-time operation on October 23-24 “in which Malian troops, held by the terrorists, were killed,” it said. On October 26, French military headquarters announced that 15 jihadists had been killed. ButRead More
In-Tillit Region (Mali) (AFP) 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 of strength and demonstrate presence” inRead More
Sevare (Mali) (AFP) Five nations in Africa’s Sahel region are progressively deploying a counter-terror force to combat jihadist groups but the project will be vulnerable during its fledgling stage, diplomats and military sources say. The so-called “G5 Sahel” states are some of the world’s poorest and least developed nations, comprising Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. Spread across largely tough, desert terrain, the G5’s counter-terror force will launch its first operation against jihadists at the end of October, codenamed “Buffalo” in a local language according to official documents seenRead More
Sevare (Mali) (AFP) An appeal by Sahel region countries for help in their battle against jihadist violence received a boost Sunday when a visiting UN Security Council ambassador pledged support. “I can assure you Burkina Faso and the G5 Sahel Countries will get the support they need,” said Ethiopian ambassador Tekeda Alemu, who co-presided with his French and Italian colleagues in the 15-strong UN delegation ending a five-day visit to the region. The trip came on the initiative of France, which is presiding over the UN Security Council this month.Read More
Bamako (AFP) Mali said Saturday it will extend by a year the state of emergency that was first introduced after a November 2015 attack on a Bamako hotel. The decision, adopted Friday following a cabinet meeting, will notably extend security forces’ powers of arrest and detention, and comes as a delegation of ambassadors from members of the UN Security Council visits the region. Their five-day visit to Mali, Mauritania and Burkina Faso comes in response to a plea by Malian foreign affairs minister Abdoulaye Diop earlier this month to theRead More
Bamako (AFP) The International Criminal Court said on Wednesday it was investigating several potential war crimes including murder in Mali, months after finding an ex-jihadist guilty liable for millions worth of damage in the landlocked country. “Our investigations are continuing (into) other crimes… sexual crimes and crimes against peacekeepers, killings and all those,” ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told reporters in Bamako. The Hague-based tribunal said in August that ex-jihadist Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi caused 2.7 million euros worth of damage when he destroyed several fabled shrines in Timbuktu, in northernRead More