Mali

Bamako (AFP) Twenty-four people including mothers and babies were killed on Thursday when their vehicle ran over a landmine in central Mali, local residents said. The deaths brought the number of fatalities linked to Mali’s jihadist insurgency to 33 in 24 hours, most of them civilians. The victims had been travelling from neighbouring Burkina Faso for a weekly market in Boni, local officials said. The blast occurred nine kilometres (five miles) from the town. “The final toll is 24, including four babies with their mothers. There are no survivors,” saidRead More
Bamako (AFP) 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 and goings of the security forces,” said anRead More
Bamako (AFP) Scarlet hibiscus petals infuse their flavour in a giant pot of liquid, where green leaves picked from the west African kinkeliba shrub also swirl. With a pinch of ginger and some baobab fruit, the concoction is ready to be tasted. Aissata Diakite’s juices are part of an all-natural health startup which the 28-year-old Malian launched in December, blending traditional flavours with an engineer’s eye for detail. The idea of launching a range of entirely natural fruit juices using locally sourced products from the African savannah came from herRead More
Bamako (AFP) 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 statement issued late Wednesday. Sixty-nine people escaped withRead More
Bamako (AFP) Mali’s army is to deploy patrols in an operation to fight jihadists in the country’s restive centre, according to documents and sources consulted by AFP, as the government expresses concern over extreme instability in the area. Newly-appointed Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga said last week “urgent measures” were required to address Al-Qaeda-linked groups who control territory in the area. The eventual deployment of around 1,000 soldiers is aimed at “assuring the security of people and goods as well as fighting the jihadists,” a Malian defence ministry official toldRead More
Bamako (AFP) A regional bank official and the head of an African tech initiative both announced candidacies for the Malian presidency on Wednesday, as the 2018 race for the troubled Sahel nation heats up. Modibo Kone, a rural development expert at the West African Development Bank, and Hamadoun Toure, who runs the “Smart Africa” initiative to drive development on the continent via technology, said the country had suffered poor leadership. They are hoping to unseat President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who has not yet said if he will seek a secondRead More
Bamako (AFP) 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 total funding over the 250 million euros ($298Read More
Bamako (AFP) Three members of an armed pro-government group were killed Saturday by suspected jihadists in northern Mali, security sources said, a day after extremists freed two hostages held since July in the troubled region. Jihadists continue to roam the north and centre of the African country, despite being ousted from key northern towns by an ongoing French-led military intervention in 2013. “Three members of the GATIA group were killed by terrorists in the vicinity of Anderamboukane, near the border with Niger,” a Malian security source told AFP, requesting anonymity.Read More
Bamako (AFP) Mali will adopt a law on “national consensus” that may amnesty rebels who took part in a revolt in 2012, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said in a New Year’s speech. Keita, in a nationwide message late Sunday, said the law would draw on a so-called charter for peace, unity and national reconciliation, which he received in June as the outcome of a two-year-old peace pact between the government and Tuareg rebels aimed at shoring up Mali’s shaky security. The “draft law on national consensus… (will) include exemption fromRead More
Bamako (AFP) Mali’s president has appointed the government of the country’s new prime minister, as he prepares for a presidential campaign amid an ongoing threat from jihadists. According to a decree published Sunday, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita installed 36 ministers for Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga’s government. Six new members are entering the government, formed hours after 63-year-old Maiga’s appointment on Saturday following the unexpected resignation of Abdoulaye Idrissa Maiga on Friday. Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdoulaye Diop has been replaced by Tieman Hubert Coulibaly, former Minister of Territorial Administration. The newRead More