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.
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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.
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Militants killed at least 31 people in central Mali on Friday (December 3) when they fired upon a bus ferrying people to a local market, local authorities said - the latest deadly attack in a region racked by violent insurgency. The bus was attacked by unidentified gunmen as it travelled its twice-weekly route from the village of Songho to a market in Bandiagara, 10 kilometres (6 miles) away, said Moulaye Guindo, mayor of the nearby town of Bankass.
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.
For almost a decade, international forces in Mali have been trying to help fight Islamist groups that threatened to take over the country in 2012. But today, the government still only controls the capital and a small area around it. DW's Fred Muvunyi reports.
As Mali and Russia continue to strengthen their military cooperation, a video purporting to show Russian helicopters during military exercises in Mali does not necessarily seem that far-fetched. So how to go about debunking it? Find out in Truth or Fake.
Many Facebook groups based in Mali and Nigeria began sharing a video of a helicopter on December 9, claiming it showed an aircraft delivering weapons to terrorists. In Mali, the posts often accused the French government of operating the helicopter, while posts coming from Nigeria laid the blame on the Nigerian government. In reality, the video is from neither one of these countries – it was filmed in the Central African Republic during a routine supply drop.
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