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Mali suspends all UN police, military contingents on its land. Can Bamako survive it?

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Malian authorities have suspended all rotations of the military and police contingents of the United Nations Mission in Mali (UNMIS).

According to a statement by the foreign ministry of the junta which has continued its position of severing foreign relations, the suspension includes UN mission that are already scheduled.

The statement further revealed that the decision also applies until “the organisation of a meeting” by the Malian side, the date of which was not communicated, to “facilitate the coordination and regulation” of the rotation of these contingents.

The decision comes after authorities in Bamako arrested 49 soldiers from Ivory Coast on Monday and labelled them “mercenaries”, claiming that the soldiers came to Mali to work for a contracting company of the United Nations mission.

Ivory Coast government earlier on Thursday denied claims by Mali that its 49 soldiers arrested at Mali’s international airport four days earlier posed a threat to the country.

The Ivorian Minister of Communication, Amadou Coulibaly, while speaking after a weekly cabinet meeting said the Malian government being a military junta should know better that the 49 soldiers pose no actual threat.

In the wake of the recent suspension, Mali assured UNMISMA that it will work “diligently to create the conditions for the lifting of this suspension measure”, the statement said.

The mandate of UNMISMA, which has been present in Mali since 2013 with some 13,000 troops, was renewed for a year on 29 June, but with Mali “firmly opposing” the freedom of movement of peacekeepers for human rights investigations.

Mali under the current Junta of Colonel Goita has been on a thread of breaking diplomatic relations with allies. With its current security challenge due to terrorist activities in some part of its regions, it left how much Bamako would achieve in recent “isolationism” approach to foreign relations.

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Recalcitrant Mali to snub ECOWAS sanctions on Guinea in defence of ‘fraternity’

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Mali has continued its recalcitrant posture in the international space as its interim prime minister has revealed that the country will not apply sanctions imposed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Guinea.

Mali’s government spokesman and interim prime minister, Abdoulaye Maiga, in a statement said the country would not respect the sanctions out of loyalty and diplomatic it has with Guinea.

“Taking into account the solidarity and fraternity between Mali and Guinea, the transitional government has decided to break away from all illegal, inhumane, and illegitimate sanctions imposed on (Guinea) and will take no action on them,” Maiga, said.

The regional bloc, ECOWAS in July lifted sanctions imposed on Mali and Burkina Faso after both announced time table for democratic transition but the sanction on Guinea remained after the body had rejected the three years calendar proposed by the ruling junta led by Colonel Mamady Dumbouya .

The bloc, last week imposed sanctions on Guinea’s ruling junta for taking too long to organize elections and restore democracy after seizing power last year.

Some of the sanction measures include freezing junta members’ financial assets and barring them from travelling to other countries in the region.

Mali, one in Guinea and one in Burkina Faso since August 2020. The lifting of the sanctions is some sort of relief for the countries who cannot afford more economic restrains than the troubling cases of insurgency already caused them.

Mali under the current military junta of Colonel Goita has severed diplomatic relations with some allies, notably France which has been helpful with military support in the fight against terrorism.

The country has also had diplomatic loggerheads with other entities like Ivory Coast, the United Nations, Germany, and Egypt amongst others.

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Nigeria Decides: Ruling party candidate, Bola Tinubu, missing as political parties sign peace pact

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As the 2023 presidential elections draw closer in Nigeria, leading candidates have signed an accord toward a peaceful electioneering process.

The symbolic pact is organized by the National Peace Committee (NPC), chaired by Abdulsalami Abubakar, a former military Head of State.

In attendance were candidates of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, Rabiu Kwankwaso, flagbearer of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP); and Omoyele Sowore, standard bearer of the African Action Congress (AAC), were present at the event.

However, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was not present but was represented on Thursday by his running mate, Kashim Shettima.

The pact is symbolic as most elections in Africa are often characterized by violence. The timeliness of the pact is rife as the 2023 electoral season officially began on Wednesday, 27 of September which marks the commencement of political campaigns.

In April 2022, Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in a report said more than 1,149  persons, including INEC employees and security officers, were killed in the three elections held in 2011, 2015, and 2019.

According to INEC, ballot papers, cubicles, and other materials were similarly destroyed.

As Nigerians hope to turn their lot at the next elections, they would also hope to be alive to witness the change, the outcomes depend on them, the public.

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