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Musings From Abroad

Germany, like France, Ivory Coast, others announces plans to withdraw troops from Mali



West African state, Mali, might be walking towards being a pariah state as defence allies across the world have continued to withdraw troops from the country which currently battles terrorists.

Germany is the latest to announce its intentions to pull its military from Mali.

The European country said its army will quit Malian soil in the middle of next year after a decade-long mission, with the withdrawal to be completed by May 2024.

According to a government spokesperson,  on Tuesday, Steffen Hebestreit. The government decided to extend by one year the mandate for the mission by May 2023 for the last time to ensure a structured exit.

“In particular, the elections in Mali scheduled for February 2024 will be taken into account,” said Hebestreit.

“It will be a very orderly withdrawal from Mali – without losing sight of the transition process in Mali,” Lambrecht said. “As there are elections scheduled in Feb 2024, we will stay over these elections, but we will start the withdrawal in summer next year.”

One of Mali’s neighbours, Ivory Coast has also hinted that it will gradually withdraw its troops and police from a U.N. peacekeeping force in Mali.

Mali under Colonel Goita has been at diplomatic loggerheads with France. It started by breaking defense alliance with the French, the junta also quit the anti-jihadist force, the G-5 force but has enjoyed a good relationship with Russia.

Some observers have argued that Mali’s recent romance with Russia and China largely accounts for the reason it has fallen out with Western countries like the US, France, and more recently Germany.

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Musings From Abroad

US House majority vote against rail workers strike action



The potential industrial action by rail workers in the United States has been voted against by the majority of the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The House members backed a bill to block a potentially crippling rail strike.

President Joe Biden had warned of the catastrophic impact of a rail stoppage that could begin as early as December 9.

More than 250 members of the House that with 432 current members had voted in favor of imposing a tentative contract deal reached in September on a dozen unions representing 115,000 workers.

Industrial actions have been on the rise in the West. In Britain, railway workers, nurses, doctors, and teachers, as well as emergency services, postal services, and telecoms workers have either gone on strike or are planning action.

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Musings From Abroad

US Justice Department indicts citizens for financing separatist fighters in Cameroon



The United States Justice Department has revealed that three US citizens of Cameroonian origin have been arrested and charged with raising funds for separatist fighters in the Central African country.

In a justice department statement, the three people indicted were named as Claude Chi, 40, of Lee’s Summit, Missouri; Francis Chenyi, 49, of St. Paul, Minnesota; and Lah Nestor Langmi, 46, of Buffalo, New York.

They indicted three who were alleged to have solicited and raised funds for supplies, weapons, and explosive materials to be used in attacks against Cameroonian government personnel and security forces.

They held senior positions in an organization that supported a group known as the Ambazonian Restoration Forces and other separatist fighters in Cameroon’s Northwest region and had been raising funds for them since 2018.

“In addition to more than $350,000 the defendants raised through voluntary donations, the indictment alleges Chi, Chenyi, and Langmi conspired with others to kidnap civilians in Cameroon and hold them for ransom,” the statement said.

“In some instances, U.S. citizens were extorted for ransom payments to secure the release of their kidnapped relatives living in Cameroon,” it added.

Two English-speaking regions began fighting the military with the aim of forming a breakaway state in 2017, which they call Ambazonia.

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