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UN Extends Sanctions Regime In Mali

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UN Extends Sanctions Regime In Mali

The UN Security Council extended for a year on Thursday a general sanctions regime against Mali, but stopped short of imposing individual sanctions against leaders of armed groups accused of violating a 2015 peace accord.

The extension was approved unanimously by the council’s 15 members.

“The progress made remains insufficient,” France’s deputy UN ambassador Anne Gueguen said. Her British counterpart, Jonathan Allen, stressed, “We need to see progress from all parties.”

Gueguen said France is proposing that mid-level leaders of armed groups who undermine the peace accord through criminal or terrorist activities also be sanctioned.

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It was unclear whether Russia and China support such individual sanctions, however. Both had expressed reservations a year ago when the general sanctions regime was created at France’s initiative.

In an August 8 report, UN experts singled out Alkassoum Ag Abdoulaye, chief of staff of the Coalition for the People of Azawad, accusing him of taking part in two attacks against Malian security forces, in 2017 and 2018.

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The report also names another CPA leader, Mohamed Ousmane Ag Mohamedoune, as suspected of also violating the peace accord.

In their report, the experts recommended that the UN sanctions committee handling Mali “proceed without delay to consider the designation for targeted measures of individuals and entities engaging in or providing support for actions or policies that threaten the peace, security or stability of Mali.”

The experts also pointed to “a worrying pattern of human rights violations” against civilians by Malian security forces during operations against extremists. Bamako has acknowledged faults.

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In Mali, large areas are outside the control of Malian, French or UN forces, which have been targeted repeatedly in deadly attacks despite a peace agreement with predominantly Tuareg rebels, aimed at isolating jihadist militants.

In recent years, the attacks have extended to central and southern Mali as well as neighbouring Burking Faso and Niger.

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African News

Morocco: Teachers Protest Over Poor Working Conditions

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Morocco: Teachers Protest Over Poor Working Condition

More than ten thousand Moroccan teachers have staged a new protest in the capital, Rabat, on Sunday to demand better working conditions.  This followed another demonstration that was broken up by police.

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These nationwide teacher strikes in Morocco have continued for three weeks and have drawn at least seventy-thousand public school teachers, marching across the country to protest against a new teacher employment contract they see as an attack on their rights and financial security.

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Their demands include legal due process for teachers facing dismissal, protection of the right to strike, periodic pay increases, increased teacher training, improved student transport and construction of more schools.

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African News

Cyclone Idai: Cases Of Cholera Reported In Storm-Hit Areas

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Cyclone Idai: Cases Of Cholera Reported In Hit Areas

Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe were hit last week by one of the biggest and most aggressive cyclones ever recorded in the Southern African region.  It took the storm a few hours to kill hundreds, topple homes, uproot trees and leave scores of residents submerged in water.

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Mozambique’s third largest city, Beira, received the largest share of the devastation.  The Port City was turned upside down.  The extent of the devastation is massive, and the city is still primarily without electricity, running water and mobile phone service.

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Relief organizations, including the international federation of the red cross and red crescent societies, say some cases of cholera had already been reported.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe storm victims now face grief and hunger.  The country’s entertainment stars have organized a concert to raise funds to help victims.  There is growing fear of starvation in communities that have been cut off by smashed bridges or destroyed roads.

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UN says Death Toll From Massacre In Mali Now Up To 134

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United Nations says Death Toll From Massacre In Mali Now 134

The United Nations says death toll from massacre in a village in Mali has risen to 134.

An ethnic Dogon militia, already blamed for scores of attacks in central Mali over the past year, is said to have attacked an ethnic village just before dawn on Saturday. The militia accused the ethnic community of having ties to jihadist groups.

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A visiting UN representative said in Bamako the killings are an “unspeakable attack.”  Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Gutterres condemned the attack and called on Malian authorities to swiftly investigate and bring perpetrators to justice.

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