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Musings From Abroad

France/Mali relationship goes cold as new bride Russia continues to support with 2 new helicopter

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Mali has continued to enjoy military support from Russia despite being at the detriment of its relationship with France. The West African country has received two more combat helicopters and surveillance radars on a Russian cargo flight.

The two new helicopters make it eight known helicopters that Moscow has provided under closer ties forged by colonels who seized power in 2020.

A source in the defense ministry said four similar deliveries were expected over the next three months.

“This is the manifestation of a very, very fruitful partnership since we started to work with the Russian state again,” said Oumar Diarra, Chief of the General Staff of the Malian Armed Forces.

The objective of everything we do at the level of the General Staff of the Armed Forces is to work to keep our autonomy to be able to defend our territory in an autonomous way.

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.

Meanwhile, the French army officially handed over the keys of the Gossi base in northern Mali to the Malian armed forces (FAMA) on Tuesday, a major step in the departure of the Barkhane anti-jihadist force from the country.

Until recently, the relationship between Mali and France seems smooth with French-led military intervention ousting jihadists who were taking control of northern Mali but the relations have deteriorated with Mali’s new military leaders, who seized power in a 2020 coup.

Also, recall that Malian authorities announced plans last month to suspend broadcasts by French state-funded international news outlets RFI and France 24 amid accusations of reporting “false allegations”.

Musings From Abroad

Angola, Portugal sign 13-point pact spanning finance, law, others    

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Angola and Portugal have signed a Memorandum of Understanding including 13 different agreements that cut across financial, legal and other critical areas.

The Angolan President, João Lourenço, who received his Portuguese counterpart, António Costa on Monday, revealed that the country was enthusiastic about partnering with its erstwhile colonialist.

“I have to say that we sensed a great willingness to collaborate on the part of the Portuguese justice system, with whom we were able to exchange not only information but also the alignment of Angola’s anti-corruption strategy and to say that in principle everything that was asked of the Portuguese authorities so that we could find the right correspondent”, president Lourenço said.

The Portuguese president announced a rise in its financial commitment to Angola which is a top oil producer in Africa.

“To support the Angolan government’s ambition and strategic approach to diversifying the country’s economy, we have significantly increased the credit line from one thousand five hundred to two billion euros”, announced Costa.

The new agreement will run till 2027. The economies of Angola and Portugal are deeply intertwined, and the two countries share a language and cultural heritage.

According to consular statistics, approximately 100,000 Portuguese nationals work in Angola, with approximately 10,000 Portuguese firms operating in a variety of sectors such as construction, engineering, hospitality, law, and financial services.

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Musings From Abroad

Israeli PM, Netanyahu demands investigation over killing of soldiers in Egypt

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Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has called for an explanation from Egyptian authorities following the reported killing of three Israeli soldiers by a member of the Egyptian security services.

He told his cabinet in televised remarks that “Israel relayed a clear message to the Egyptian government. We expect that the joint investigation will be exhaustive and thorough.

“We will refresh procedures and methods of operations and also the measures to reduce to a minimum the smuggling and to ensure tragic terrorist attacks like this do not happen again.”

Three Israeli soldiers were killed in an attack near Egypt’s border by a gunman wearing an Egyptian police uniform— the first deadly exchange along the border shared by the two countries in more than a decade.

According to the Israeli military, two soldiers were killed by an Egyptian policeman while securing a military post near the Egyptian border early Saturday. According to the report, the Egyptian officer and a third Israeli soldier were killed in a clash on Israeli territory hours later.

Israeli military spokesman, Daniel Hagari, while addressing journalists, said: “From that moment a terrorist event was declared, leading to sweeps of the area.”

He also revealed that “a drone was sent up and 1.5 kilometres inside Israel a suspicious person was identified.”

Egypt’s relationship with Israel is complicated and has evolved significantly over time. Despite having fought four wars, the two countries now work closely together, primarily on security issues.

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