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Jihadists kill 27 in Mali, as military junta leans on Russian mercenaries

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The Malian army has confirmed that one of its camps in central Mali was attacked by jihadists on Friday, killing 27 soldiers, 33 soldiers were injured while seven are missing.  

The Mondoro (military) base which was attacked is near Mali’s border with Burkina Faso and has previously been targeted by jihadists fighting the Malian state and foreign forces. The Malian troop was however able to neutralise 47 “terrorists”.

The Mali War started in January 2012 between the northern and southern parts of Mali in Africa with several insurgent groups, Jihadist and separatist fighters with  affiliations with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group  began fighting a campaign against the Malian government for independence or greater autonomy for northern Mali, which they called Azawad. The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), an organization fighting to make this area of Mali an independent homeland for the Tuareg people, had taken control of the region by April 2012.

A peace deal between the government and Tuareg rebels was signed on 18 June 2013, however on 26 September 2013 the rebels pulled out of the peace agreement and claimed that the government had not respected its commitments to the truce. Fighting is still ongoing even though French forces are scheduled for withdrawal. A ceasefire agreement was signed on 19 February 2015 in Algiers, Algeria, but sporadic terrorist attacks still occur. 

French military source told newsmen that hundreds of jihadists attacked the camp of around 150 soldiers close to 0600 GMT, putting the death toll between 40 and 50. He also revealed that the jihadists seized 21 vehicles, including tanks, and injured more than 20 soldiers, the source added.

The source’s claim is a contradiction to Mali’s army official statement which noted the attack happened around 0530 GMT.

The source said Mali’s army did not request support from France’s Barkhane military operation because the camp was “where Barkhane was asked not to operate, probably because of the presence of Wagner mercenaries”, referring to the Russian paramilitary group.

Until recently, French-led military intervention ousted jihadists who were taking control of northern Mali and troops remained to provide support for anti-terrorist operations. But deteriorating relations with Mali’s new military leaders, who seized power in a 2020 coup, have prompted France to reconsider its role in the country.

It is reported that at the heart of the rift between France and authorities in Bamako is whether Mali should enter into negotiations with the jihadist groups that continue to rampage across the north and centre of the country. Bamako is in favour of opening discussions while Paris sees negotiations with jihadists as a red line that must not be crossed.

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Tanzanian president, Samia Hassan, positions to become party, CCM’s chairperson. Will she get it?

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Tanzania’s president, Samia Suluhu Hassan is in a firm position to grab the heart of her political party, Tanzania’s Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) as she appears the sole candidate for the party’s top position.

New party executives will be chosen at the ruling party’s general meeting.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan is the only candidate for the post of chairperson, while the post of the party’s vice chairperson for Tanzania mainland is reserved for Abdulrahman Kinana who currently holds the post.

According to the party’s publicity and ideology secretary, Mr. Shaka Hamdu Shaka, the meeting will also elect members of the CCM National Executive Committee (NEC), in which 2,703 names were approved to contest for 30 seats.

By party structure, the secretary-general is the party’s top executive who oversees its operations while the chairperson and vice chairperson hold office for five years, the appointment of the party executives is normally done depending on the performance of the respective post holders and fits the existing circumstances.

The development of political parties and their administration is a key factor in strengthening democratic reign all over the world, the control of ruling parties to a large extent usually influence governance and policy. It is hoped that President Samia Hassan’s vantage position in her party, CCM will count for the level of stability that would aid governance in the East African country.

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South Sudan’s ruling party endorses President Salva Kiir for next election

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The ruling party in South Sudan has endorsed President Salva Kiir as its candidate in the country’s delayed election scheduled for the end of 2024.

President Kiir while speaking at the end of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement’s leadership session, accepted the ruling party endorsement for the 2024 election.

“We passed through a difficult situation, but we came out and stood together,” the president said to cheers. He added: “I have never failed you before; I believe that we will fight together whatever battles that are coming.”

South Sudan is in a dire situation with approximately two-thirds of the population, in danger of famine as they face acute food insecurity during the next lean season as climate shocks and conflict deepen the already vulnerable situation for many.

South Sudan is in a fragile state between war and peace. In February 2020, after a two-year process, the conflict parties of President Salva Kiir Mayardit and former First Vice President Riek Machar.

President Kiir has been the country’s only president since it gained independence from Sudan in 2011.

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