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Senegal signs peace agreement with Casamance rebels

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In Senegal, Casamance rebels have signed a peace agreement with the government and pledged to lay down their arms.

Head of a unit of the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC), César Atoute Badiate, and an emissary of Senegalese President Macky Sall signed the agreement at the presidency of the Guinea-Bissau Republic.

Guinea-Bissau head of state, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, addressing César Atoute Badiate, said it was time for the rebel group to rethink its position.

“You went into the bush when I was 10 years old. Today I am 50. I think that’s enough now. (…) How many people have died, been maimed or left their villages? We will accompany you in the search for peace.”

President Macky Sall tweeted on Thursday evening, also thanking Umaro Sissoco Embalo for his mediation.

“I welcome the peace agreement and the laying down of arms signed on 4 August in Bissau between Senegal and the provisional committee of the political and fighting wings of the MFDC. I remain committed to the consolidation of lasting peace in Casamance,”

President Macky Sall has made “definitive peace” in Casamance one of the priorities of his second term. His negotiations for a settlement of the conflict have not led to a final agreement, complicated by divisions within the MFDC.

The Casamance conflict is an ongoing low-level conflict that has been waged between the Government of Senegal and the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) since 1982. On May 1, 2014 the leader of the MFDC sued for peace and declared a unilateral ceasefire.

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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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