Mali under embargo: Why is regional bloc ECOWAS coming down hard on junta?
12 January 2022 | 2:45 pm
Why are Mali's neighbours coming down hard? A harsh embargo has been decided after coup leaders in that landlocked West African state reneged on their promise of a quick return to civilian rule. How harsh? We talk border closures and trade embargoes. It's not as if the region has never seen a putsch before: look no further than neighbouring Guinea.
It was market day in Moura, a remote town in central Mali, when witnesses said Malian troops backed by Russian mercenaries descended in helicopters and opened fire on bewildered residents.
In late March, the Malian armed forces and suspected Russian mercenaries allegedly executed about 300 people in Moura, a village in central Mali. Human Rights Watch opened an investigation into the matter, calling it a massacre. In order to discredit these findings, photos online claim to show hundreds of weapons belonging to civilians, seized by the Malian army. However, the photos have nothing to do with the current situation in Moura. We tell you more in this edition of Truth or Fake.
Myanmar's military junta announced that it will pardon hundreds of prisoners, including 42 foreigners, as the country marks the Buddhist new year. But political prisoners are reportedly not included.
In an interview with FRANCE 24, the EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that the bloc "will continue" providing military support to Ukraine, while taking care not to become a "belligerent" in the conflict. Speaking to Europe Editor Catherine Nicholson, Borrell added that he expects the EU to eventually impose a total ban on imports of Russian oil in a bid to reduce the Kremlin's ability to finance its war in Ukraine.
The French military left a remote base in northern Mali before dawn for the last time last week, with 100 vehicles forming a miles-long convoy across the barren desert terrain. Helicopters whirred above as air support for hundreds of troops in trucks and armoured cars leaving the camp near the town of Gossi.
EU leaders are expected to present the proposed embargo later this week. Supporting the measure would be Germany's second turnaround in as many weeks with regards to Ukraine.
In a decision that was long time coming, Malian ruling junta pulled the plug on a number of military accords with France. French soldiers and European partners are on track to leave Mali by the end of summer.
As EU member states push for a Russian oil embargo, Germany's PCK Schwedt refinery is facing an uncertain future. It runs wholly on Russian imports, and many locals aren't so sure alternatives can be found in time.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Brussels are at odds again. Hungary refuses to support the planned oil embargo against Russia. But now even former allies such as Poland are turning their backs.
The 27 EU member states are deliberating a gradual ban on Russian oil imports. Some countries, such as Hungary, Slovakia and Cyprus, are concerned about the repercussions of such a move on their economies.
Germany is set to draw down its EU deployment in Mali and increase its UN deployment. France is withdrawing from Mali amid friction with the military junta there.
Hungary's government is "holding European Union decision makers hostage" by refusing to join an EU-wide embargo on Russian oil, according to Lithuania's foreign minister. This comes as EU leaders continue their efforts to gather support for a sixth sanctions package on Russia from all 27 EU member states. The government of PM Viktor Orban has claimed that an import ban on Russian oil would ruin the Hungarian economy. Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis tells FRANCE 24 that "Europe is weaker" as a result, and that he is "still hoping Budapest will be responsible in their decisions".
46 mins ago
India's teams will not be able to play and the country can't host the upcoming under-17 World Cup after the All India Football Federation was suspended. FIFA took the decision "due to undue influence from third parties."
46 mins ago
William Ruto has been declared the winner of Kenya's Presidential election, narrowly beating his rival Raila Odinga. Speaking at his victory rally, Ruto said that he would be a leader for all Kenyans, no matter which way they voted in the election.
2 hours ago
Norwegian authorities have killed a walrus that was drawing large numbers of human onlookers. They said it was necessary because people had failed to heed warnings that their safety could be in danger.
2 hours ago
People in several towns had to flee their homes due to a raging forest fire. The blaze began near the town of Anon de Moncayo, 70 kilometers west of the northeast city of Zaragoza.
5 hours ago
The head of Kenya’s election body on Monday declared William Ruto the winner of the country’s close-fought presidential election, despite several commissioners rejecting the results.
5 hours ago
On August 15, 2021, the Taliban overthrew Ashraf Ghani's government and seized power in Afghanistan. One year later, the country is facing multiple challenges that demand immediate global attention.