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UN deploys more troops to Mali tri-border area with Burkina Faso, Niger as terrorist attacks continue

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The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has deployed two units to the African country’s tri-border area with Burkina Faso and Niger to respond to a spate of civilian killings, it said on Thursday.

This comes after a recent surge in terrorist attacks in the troubled West African country. One of such was the attack on two Egyptian peacekeepers of the United Nations Mission in Mali MINUSMA and two Malian soldiers were killed last month in two separate events in Mali.

The special United Nations peacekeeping force was established in Mali on 25 April 2013 by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2100 to stabilize the country after the Tuareg rebellion of 2012. It was officially deployed on 1 July and has become the UN’s most dangerous peacekeeping mission, with 209 peacekeepers killed out of a force of about 15,200.

“The security situation in the Tri-border area… particularly in the localities of Tessit, Talataye, Ansongo and the Menaka region, has deteriorated considerably in recent weeks,” said the U.N. peacekeeping mission, MINUSMA.

MINUSMA deployed one unit to the area over a week ago and was in the process of deploying another on Thursday, it said, adding that the attacks have resulted in “dozens of deaths”.

At least 500 civilians have been killed in the last three weeks in the regions of Gao and Menaka, said a military source, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to speak.

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.

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.

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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