Thursday, 26th May 2022
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Mali learner drivers undeterred by chaotic roads

Between pothole-filled roads, swarms of motorcycles driven by minors, and a distinct lack of road signs, learner drivers in Bamako must surmount a range of challenges to obtain their licence. Once a rarety, driving schools are now booming in Mali, catering for the millions of young people -- the minimum age for driving is 18 -- who crave a licence, often to find work.

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Today we debunk photos shared on Facebook claiming to show "Russian ships arriving in Algeria to support Mali". Also, a slip of the tongue by the French Polynesian president Édouard Fritch is ripe for manipulation. Our team fact-check two stories circulating on social media, that should not be taken at face value.
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French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly granted an interview to FRANCE 24 and RFI in Dakar, Senegal. Parly slammed a "disinformation campaign" aimed at creating "anti-French discourse" in Africa's Sahel region, as France reorganises its military presence there. The minister said she did not believe Russian Wagner Group mercenaries were in the Malian capital Bamako, but added that "that does not mean the current Malian authorities are not planning to bring them there". The arrival of Russian mercenaries in Mali would be "simply unacceptable", she said.
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15 Dec
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Nine years after Timbuktu welcomed them as liberators, French troops are withdrawing from their final outpost in Mali's far north. There's no unruliness here, but also no cries of mission accomplished: the jihadist radicals who scattered when French-led forces intervened have long since morphed into a low-intensity insurgency with raids as far away as the far north of Benin. With the summer's chaos in Afghanistan still fresh in memories, when is the right time to end military intervention?
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