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Chad hands over anti-balaka militia leader, Maxime Mokom to ICC

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday confirmed that the leader of an anti-balaka armed group, Maxime Mokom, has been handed over to it by The Republic of Chad.

The Hague Court made the confirmation in a statement retrieved from its official Twitter handle. “Today, 14 March 2022, Mr Maxime Jeoffroy Eli Mokom Gawaka (“Mr Mokom”), was surrendered to the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “the Court”) by the authorities of the Republic of Chad on account of an ICC warrant of arrest issued under seal on 10 December 2018. Mr Mokom is suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Bangui and other locations in the Central African Republic (“CAR”) in 2013 and 2014”

Maxime Jeoffroy Eli Mokom Gawaka is suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The alleged crimes were committed in 2013 and 2014 “in Bangui and other locations in the Central African Republic.”

The Anti-balaka is an alliance of militia groups based in the Central African Republic in the early 21st century said to be composed primarily of Christians. This militia formed in the Central African Republic after the rise to power of Michel Djotodia in 2013. Amnesty International reported in 2015 that some members of anti-balaka groups have forcibly converted Muslims to Christianity.

Anti-balaka groups have also kidnapped, burnt and buried alive in public ceremonies women accused of being ‘witches’.

Despite a 2019 peace deal, militia groups that emerged during the conflict were recently in control of around two-thirds of the country, and Touadera depends heavily on UN forces, as well as military personnel sent by Russia and Rwanda.

A counter-offensive has seen pro-government forces retake a series of towns from the rebels in recent days.

Touadera won a presidential election in December from which Bozize was banned but barely a third of the potential ballots were cast.

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Malian migrants, including children, die as makeshift Europe-bound boat capsizes in Libya

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Twenty-two Malian migrants including three children, have been killed when their makeshift Europe-bound boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, the United Nations as well as the Malian government have confirmed on Wednesday.

The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM), also confirmed that 61 other migrants were rescued and taken to a detention centre in Libya.

The Ministry of Malians Abroad, in a statement, said the people who died were part of a group of 83 mostly Malian nationals who were stuck on a distressed vessel since June 22.

The IOM, in statement by its spokeswoman Safa Msehli, said the rescued victims were brought back to shore with the help of the Libyan coastguard after nine days at sea, adding that the “cause of death for the 22 people was drowning and dehydration.”

Msehli also said some of the survivors were in very poor health and had to be taken to hospital by the IOM.

“The remaining migrants were taken to al-Maya detention centre” in Libya, she said.

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Monkeypox: WHO records over 6,000 cases in 58 countries in recent outbreak

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According to the World Health Organization, more than 6,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported from 58 countries in the current outbreak.

The United Nations agency is yet to decide declaring the outbreak a global health emergency, the WHO’s highest level of alert.

Its committee reconvene a meeting in July 18 to decide or sooner.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference from Geneva.

Monkeypox, a disease that was once largely restricted to Africa, has also penetrated Europe and North America in its recent spread with more than 100 cases recorded outside Africa.

The UN committee meeting in June 27 decided that the disease was not yet a health emergency. There have recently been reported cases in other African countries like Nigeria and Morocco.

“I continue to be concerned by the scale and spread of the virus across the world,” Tedros said, adding that a lack of testing meant that there were likely many more cases going unreported.

Until recently, monkeypox had been a disease that was once largely restricted to Africa, but has gradually penetrating Europe and North America in its recent outbreak.

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