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Mauritania summons Malian ambassador over ‘criminal act’ on citizens at borders

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The foreign ministry of Mauritanian on Tuesday accused Mali’s army of crimes against Mauritanians after protesters in the capital charged they had been killed “in cold blood”.

The ministry summoned the Malian ambassador to protest the recurring acts.

Mauritania shares a 2,000-kilometre (1,200-mile) border with Mali, where the junta seized power in 2020.

Mali’s ambassador Mohamed Dibassy had been called in to hear a “strong protest against the recent, recurring criminal acts”, committed by the army following the disappearance of several citizens just over the border, the ministry said.

Dozens of people had demonstrated earlier in the day outside the presidency demanding revenge and an end to disappearances they said had been carried out by Mali’s soldiers over recent days.

Protesters held up placards claiming the Mauritanians had been killed “in cold blood” in the border area south of Adel Bagrou, in the east of Mali.

Mauritanian Member of Parliament, Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Henenna, told newsmen that at least 15 of his countrymen had been killed.

The government in Nouakchott promised to investigate, but there was no immediate response to the charges from Mali.

Seven Mauritanians died in Mali in the same region, near Nara, in January. The Bamako authorities announced an inquiry and said there was no evidence linking the army to the deaths.

Unverified voice recordings posted on social media quote witnesses blaming the Malian army for the disappearance of as many as 30 Mauritanians.

The ministry noted in a statement carried by the national news agency that a senior Mauritanian delegation had gone to Mali after the January deaths “to try to contain this hostile behaviour towards our citizens”.

“Despite the assurances given” by the Mali authorities, their response had been “below expectations”

A Mauritanian diplomat, speaking anonymously, offered a warning to the junta in Bamako.

“We have clearly told the Malians that if this continues, we will close the border,” he said.

Mali has sought to improve ties with Nouakchott since the West African ECOWAS bloc of nations, Guinea apart, closed their borders with Mali in January to sanction the junta for delaying a return to civilian power.

Politics

Nigeria: Senate President wants police rid of bad officers 

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Nigeria’s Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, has asked the police to get rid of bad officers. He also promised that the National Assembly would work with and back the police to make Nigeria safer.

Akpabio said this at the first Nigeria Police Awards and Commendations Ceremony, which took place in Abuja on Monday night. The Senate President commended the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the rest of the Nigeria Police leadership for putting together the event. He also told them to use it to celebrate the force’s accomplishments and reaffirm their promise to work together to make Nigeria safer.

He stated,  “I commend the Police for this maiden effort in organising this awards ceremony. It is a testament to IGP Egbetokun’s commitment to giving honour to whom it is due.

“By recognising the gallant, selfless and patriotic contributions of individual officers, we not only motivate them for higher performance but also reinforce the new policing agenda of the Force.

“This agenda focuses on internal ethical regeneration, restoration of professional standards and the enhancement of the anti-corruption drive.

“However, let us not ignore the challenges faced by the police in Nigeria. The ever-evolving landscape of crime and the increasing sophistication of criminal gangs pose significant obstacles. “

“Moreso, as we honour the good officers, let us weed out the bad ones because a chain is as strong as its weakest link. We must address these issues and work together to find solutions, he emphasised.

In front of Vice President Kashim Shettima and other important people, Akpabio said, “As the leader of the National Assembly, I pledge our full cooperation and support for better cops in Nigeria.”

“We recognise the importance of a well-equipped and motivated police force in ensuring the security and well-being of our citizens.

“We will continue to work tirelessly to provide the necessary legislative framework and resources to enable the police to carry out their duties effectively.”

Statista data shows that most Nigerians did not trust the cops at all in 2020. In cities, where six out of ten people who answered the survey said they didn’t believe the police, this lack of trust was higher. Also, 19% of the people interviewed in Nigeria’s cities and 26.8% of those interviewed in the country’s rural areas said they merely trusted the police.

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Chad: Interim President Deby begins campaign ahead of election

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With a promise to improve security and the economy, Mahamat Idriss Deby, Chad’s temporary president, started his campaign for president on Monday.

 

The election is set for next month and will end three years of military rule. Concerns of a democracy backslide have been raised about Deby’s government and others that have taken power in West and Central Africa since 2020.

 

Chad is one of the countries in Central and West Africa that is run by the military. There is still a push from both inside and outside of Africa for the country to switch to a democratic government.

 

Mahamat’s father had been in charge for a long time and was killed in rebel fighting in 2021. At first, Deby promised that polls would happen in 18 months. Later, however, his government passed measures that let him run for president and pushed the election date to 2024.

 

 

Some countries in the region and around the world have been pressuring Chad to quickly hand power back to people, but the country has been the first to hold elections.

 

 

“Today we are at the final turn on the road to constitutional return,” Deby told a large crowd gathered in scorching weather at the high-security event in Chad’s capital N’Djamena.

 

 

“You know me, I am a soldier and I hold my promises,” he said, barely visible behind a barrier of bodyguards crowding the podium.

“We will strengthen internal security to guarantee peace and stability in our country,” he said.

 

 

 

Deby made it official that he was going to run at the beginning of March. The news came a few days after Yaya Dillo, an opposition politician, was killed in a gunfight with security forces. This caused worries about the safety of the upcoming election.

 

Since then, forensic experts have said that Dillo was most likely shot from close range. Among the nine other candidates for president is Succes Masra, who was recently named Prime Minister of Chad and is a strong opponent of the junta.

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