Mali left alone to fight extremists amid political crisis
20 December 2021 | 1:47 pm
The country's military government has its work cut out for it, as it copes with the threat of Islamic extremism and ECOWAS sanctions.
The Tunisian army has remained apolitical throughout its modern history. But now, some locals fear the military is getting too close to President Kais Saied's increasingly unconstitutional regime.
At the UN General Assembly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hit out at France for opposing the deployment of Russian mercenaries in Mali, and slammed the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Over 100 members of the moderate Islamist Ennahda movement have stepped down due to frustration with their party's leader. Meanwhile, international rights groups have slammed a "power grab" by President Kais Saied.
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.
Bamako has summoned the former colonial power's ambassador after Emmanuel Macron again blasted the junta for deflecting from what he sees as its own lack of governance. From the second coup in one year to Paris's decision to draw down part of the 5,000 troops it has stationed in the fight against a jihadist insurgency, the escalating war of words went into overdrive two weeks ago when Mali's prime minister accused France of abandoning his country.
The liberation of the nun, captured on the border with Burkina Faso nearly five years ago, has been welcomed by the Colombian government. Mali's president saluted her "bravery" after the ordeal.
We head to northern Mali, where French forces are preparing to close a base used by the Barkhane force as France decides to reduce its presence in the country. Also, Botswana's court of appeal starts hearing a government attempt to overturn a landmark ruling that decriminalised homosexuality in 2019. And Cape Verde gears up for elections, with the revival of the tourism industry a key campaign issue.
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Military leaders in Mali and Guinea are under pressure to follow a roadmap for elections after coups in recent years. The sanctions consist of travel bans and asset freezes.
Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama told FRANCE 24 that recent coups in West Africa are undermining democracy and that events have reached a crucial juncture for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc. “Clearly it is a threat, it is an unfortunate precedent,” he said.
In Mali, a bizarre plastic monster roams the streets. But it's no demon — rather contemporary artist Zol, who uses his otherworldly costume to draw attention to plastic pollution.
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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