Photos show Russian Wagner personnel operating in Mali
14 January 2022 | 5:54 am
Exclusive photos show Russian mercenaries, believed to be of the Wagner group, operating in Mali. Also, Ethiopians in Lalibela marked the orthodox Christmas under the shadow of conflict. Just months ago, the historic town was occupied by Tigrayan rebels. And Senegal's national dish has gone global. Thieboudienne, made with rice with fish, has been added to UNESCO's cultural heritage list.
While Chinese papers hail the country's launch of a $233 million biodiversity fund, the Guardian warns that China is rowing back on its commitment to reduce carbon emissions. We also look at the tragic deaths of three migrants who were hit by a train in south-western France. Meanwhile, employees from Google and Amazon call on their companies to abandon a project with Israel. We end with the most striking winners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards.
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.
A weekly news show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from FRANCE 24 Observers around the world – all checked by our staff here in Paris.
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.
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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