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Morocco to prosecute 65 migrants involved in deadly Melilla crossing disaster which claimed 23 lives

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Moroccan judiciary authority says it has begun the prosecution of 65 migrants who instigated the mass attempt to cross the Melilla border gate into the Spanish Island enclave which led to the death of 23 asylum seekers on Friday.

A statement by a judicial official in the North African country on Tuesday said those to be prosecuted led the deadly crossing attempt by storming a border post, leading to the incident.

The statement said the deaths of the migrants was as a result of a crush following a stampede, and from migrants falling from a high fence, which also led to injuries to scores of the migrants injured, as well as dozens of security personnel from both sides.

Over 2,000 migrants had took part in the attempt to cross into the Spanish Melilla enclave which triggered violent skirmishes with Moroccan security forces and Spanish border guards, with about 100 managing to cross over before the stampede.

Though officials put the number of death at 23, the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH) citing hospital records, said 29 migrants had died in the incident.

The AMDH said in a statement that many of the dead could have been saved but the injured were left unattended for hours, leading to an increase in the death toll.

The human rights group added that three of its lawyers would help represent the migrants in court as soon as they are charged.

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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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