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Senegal residents lament rising cost of food items as Ramadan closes in

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Residents of Senegal have been lamenting the rising cost of food items with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan just a few days away.

Basic foodstuffs in the West African country has been on a steady rise following the closure of Senegal’s border with Mali, which has seen the restriction of foodstuff and other items coming into the country.

The worst hit is the capital, Dakar, where residents have been calling on the government to reopen the border so that products can come in.

The closure of the Senegal-Mali border was necessitated by a range of
economic and diplomatic sanctions against Mali, including border closures, by ECOWAS and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) in January, following a coup staged by the military.

The sanctions by the regional bodies were meant to deal a blow to the Malian junta, but the effect of the sanctions have gone beyond Mali and are now taking tolls on neighbouring countries including The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Ghana, Togo, Burkina Faso and even as far as Nigeria, where prices of goods have skyrocketed.

A resident of Dakar, Ndèye Marie Diop, who spoke on the price increase, said:

“The closure of the Mali border has made things worse because there are products that Senegal does not have and that leave Guinea, Mali or the Ivory Coast, and inevitably, one must pass through Mali before coming to Senegal.

“Things will be very difficult during Ramadan under these conditions.
There are all these problems, they must open the border. All the products are there. If the border is closed, what will come in?”

Metro

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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