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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

Church in Northern Province cautions against cyberspace abuse, supports cyber security law

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The church in Northern Province has issued a warning to Zambians regarding the misuse of cyberspace in the guise of human rights and media freedoms.

Bishop Elias Mponela, the Regional Coordinator of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ), highlighted a concerning trend of cyberspace abuse among some Zambians during an interview with Zambia Monitor in Kasama District.

While acknowledging that every Zambian is entitled to human rights, Bishop Mponela stated the importance of not abusing these rights.

He stressed that Cyber Security Act, though beneficial, would be enforced without exceptions, regardless of one’s societal status.

“The Cyber Security Act is a necessary measure that must be implemented promptly, but with care to ensure that individuals’ rights are respected,” Mponela commented.

He expressed concern over the misuse of cyberspace by prominent figures, particularly politicians, who spread messages of hatred and division.

Mponela urged authorities to address such behavior before it escalated.

Highlighting the significance of a free media, Mponela underscored the importance of journalists operating in a conducive environment without fear of reprisal from those in power.

“Access to information is vital in today’s world, and those in authority must ensure it is guaranteed to foster an informed society,” he stated.

However, Mponela cautioned against media outlets abusing their freedom by disseminating misleading information or promoting divisiveness.

The church’s stance reflects a call for responsible use of cyberspace and a balanced approach to ensuring both freedom and accountability in media practices.

This story is sponsored content from Zambia Monitor’s Project Aliyense.

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Nigeria kicks as South African police torture citizen to death

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The Nigerian Union South Africa (NUSA) has condemned the killing of another of its citizens, Prince Muoka Ebuka, who was reportedly tortured to death by the police on Friday, May 17, in Danielskuil, Northern Cape, over drug-related allegations.

The Union, in a statement, also demands an immediate probe into the killing of the 43-year-old businessman who hailed from Obosi in Anambra State, said the incident further highlights a disturbing trend of police abuse targeting Nigerians in the Northern Cape.

The statement issued on Saturday and signed by NUSA National Publicity Secretary, Habib Miller, indicated that the deceased was tortured to death by the police in the guise of interrogation over drug related allegations.

“Since March, there have been similar cases in Kimberley involving drug accusations and police violence. Another Nigerian, Chika Anuino, was killed by police in Springs, Johannesburg, on April 25,” the NUSA statement said.

“Reports from Ebuka’s wife, Joyce, paint a harrowing picture of law enforcement officers storming their residence, compelling her to evacuate to shield their young child from witnessing the violence.

“Ebuka was then subjected to assault and coerced to produce drugs allegedly in his possession. When their search proved fruitless, they forcibly escorted him to a waste dump, alleging he had concealed illegal substances there.

“Eyewitnesses further allege egregious misconduct, with officers resorting to coercive tactics, including requesting pepper spray after emerging from Mr Ebuka’s residence.

“Despite employing drug detection methods, no evidence was found, yet the relentless interrogation tragically led to his demise.

“Moreover, the lack of proper crime scene preservation raises grave doubts about the integrity of the investigation,” NUSA stated.

Miller noted that the incident has been further complicated by the police’s refusal to issue a statement or allow the victim’s family to open a case docket on the murder of their breadwinner, adding that the had faced intimidation from the police when she tried to report her husband’s death.

NUSA said the Union demands a thorough, impartial investigation into Prince Ebuka’s killing and the broader issue of police abuse in the Northern Cape.

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