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Nigerian-born OPEC Secretary-General, Mohammed Barkindo, dies hours after presidential reception three weeks to departure

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The Nigerian-born Secretary-General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammed Barkindo, has died a few hours after he was hosted to a grand reception by President Muhammadu Buhari at the country’s seat of power, Aso Rock Presidential Villa in the capital, Abuja.

The 63-year-old Barkindo who was due to leave his position on July 31, after six years in the saddle, was reported to have died late Tuesday in a private hospital in Abuja.

While announcing the death of Barkindo, Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Twitter, described his departure as a great loss to his immediate family, NNPC Nigeria, OPEC and global energy community.

The Vienna-based OPEC also confirmed Barkindo’s death, saying he was a “much-loved leader who would be greatly missed” by the oil cartel.

Barkindo was set to join the Atlantic Council as a distinguished fellow after after finishing his term at OPEC and was a regular speaker at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum, a premier international gathering of government, industry, and thought leaders in the energy sector which aims to set an agenda for the industry each year.

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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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