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Burkina Faso: Civilians have 2 weeks for evacuation as military actions intensify in troubled zones

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Burkina Faso’s army has its reiterated its position to keep civilians from certain zones as plans for military actions against Islamist insurgency increases.

The junta on Friday announced an ultimatum of two weeks for civilians to evacuate vast areas in its northern and southeastern regions.

Earlier this week, the leader of the transitional government, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, created two “zones of military interest” where “all human presence is forbidden” in the north of the country.

The junta said it made the decision in order to combat growing deadly jihadist violence in the region.

One of the military zones is a rural area of around 2,000 square kilometres (772 square miles) bordering Mali in the northern province of Soum.

The other covers about 11,000 square kilometres on the southern border with Benin and is mostly national park land.

The commander of operations of the national theatre (COTN), Lieutenant Colonel Yves Didier Bamouni, at a press briefing said “A delay of 14 days will be accorded to resident populations to join safer zones.”

“It is very important to be able to distinguish friends from enemies,” he said, without providing further detail.

Terrorist activity in Burkina Faso  has involved religious terrorism conducted by foreign-based organizations, although some activity occurs because of communal frustration over the lack of economic development.

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UN peacekeeping mission to resume operations in Mali month after suspension

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Barely a month after the Malian junta suspended operations of UN peacekeeping troops on its soil, a spokesperson of the mission has confirmed that mission will resume again on Monday.

Malian authorities in a statement in July suspended all rotations of the military and police contingents of the United Nations Mission in Mali (UNMIS). The suspension was in continuation of its position of severing foreign relations, the suspension includes UN mission that are already scheduled.

The spokesperson said the mission and Malian authorities had agreed on a streamlined rotation procedure and that the mission’s request to resume rotations on Monday had been accepted.

Mali’s foreign ministry could not be immediately reached for comment.

Relations between Mali and troop-contributing countries remain strained. On Friday, Germany said it was suspending its military reconnaissance mission, which provides intelligence to MINUSMA, after Malian authorities withheld a flight clearance

Mali under the current Junta of Colonel Goita has been on a thread of breaking diplomatic relations with allies.

It started by breaking defense alliance with the French, the junta also quit the anti-jihadist force, G-5 force but has enjoyed good relationship with Russia.

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15 African migrants found dead in the Libyan-Sudan border desert

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At least 15 African migrants were found dead on Saturday in the desert on the Libyan borders with Sudan, with authorities saying the tragedy involved migrants seeking a better life in Europe while perilous journeys through the deserts and the Mediterranean Sea.

The discovery of the victims was made by the Libyan Department for Combating Irregular Migration, in the southeastern city of Kufra, which said the migrants were on their way from Sudan to Libya when their vehicle broke down due to lack of fuel.

The agency, in a statement, said nine other migrants survived while two remain missing in the desert.

It added that there were women and children among the migrants, but did not elaborate on how many they were.

It also did not reveal causes of the migrants’ death, but said they did not have enough food and water.

“All the migrants were Sudanese, from a country in turmoil for years. The migrants likely attempted to reach western Libya in efforts to board trafficking boats to Europe,” the department said on its Facebook page.

In June, the Libya authorities had also discovered bodies of 20 migrants in the sprawling Kufra desert who they said died of thirst after their vehicle broke down close to the border with Chad.

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