West Africa

France Defense Minister Visits French Troops in Mali

March 15, 2013

“Le Drian was trying to assess troop morale and prepare the deployment of an African force to Mali, which will also serve French imperialist interests in the region.”

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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Rules-Out Canadian Combat Troops in Mali

March 14, 2013

“Harper didn’t rule out Canadian support for a UN-led peacekeeping force, saying only that any future decisions by Ottawa on Mali won’t be taken without input from parliamentarians.”

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France Foreign Minister Lobbying for a United Nations Security Council Vote on Peacekeepers in Mali in Early April

March 14, 2013

“The peacekeepers would take over from French and African forces currently fighting Islamic extremists who had taken control of northern Mali.”

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United Nations Report Accuses Mali Soldiers of Retaliatory Violence Against Ethnic Groups

March 13, 2013

“Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that members of the Peuhl, Tuareg and Arab ethnic groups were being targeted.”

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Nigerian Ansaru Militants Kill 7 Foreign Hostages From Italy, Britain, Greece, and Lebanon

March 10, 2013

“In an online statement posted on Saturday, the militant group Ansaru said it had killed the captives. Ansaru is suspected of being an offshoot of the Boko Haram network.”

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Algerian Gas Plant Hostage Crisis Mastermind Mokhtar Belmokhtar Killed in Northern Mali

March 4, 2013

“Mokhtar Belmokhtar – nicknamed Mr Marlboro after amassing a fortune by smuggling cigarettes and drugs across the Sahara – is said to have died along with 14 of his men in an attack by soldiers on a mountain stronghold.”

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French Investigative Judge: Mali Military Intervention Raises Threat of Domestic Terrorism in France

February 24, 2013

“The concerns of the French authorities were once largely limited to residents of North African Arab ancestry, like Algerians and Tunisians, but attention has broadened to include those French with roots in Mali, Senegal, Nigeria and Niger, the judge, Marc Trévidic, said in an interview.”

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United States Deploys Military Personnel and Drones to Niger

February 22, 2013

“Defense Department officials told NBC News that a first wave will include two Raptor surveillance drones and 250 to 300 military personnel, including remote pilots and security and maintenance crews. They are expected to arrive soon.”

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Secret al-Qaeda List of 22 “Tips” for Avoiding Drone Strikes Discovered in Timbuktu, Mali

February 21, 2013

“The document also shows the coordination between al-Qaeda chapters, which security experts have called a source of increasing concern.”

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Head of Guinea’s Military Killed in a Plane Crash in Liberia

February 11, 2013

“General Souleymane Kelefa Diallo, who was on a security mission to Liberia, was appointed by Conde after the latter won elections in 2010 in the world’s top bauxite producer.”

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Nigeria Arrests 3 Journalists For Inciting Violence By Calling Polio Vaccinations an Anti-Islam Western Conspiracy

February 11, 2013

“Polio crippled thousands of people every year in rich nations until the 1950s. As a result of vaccination, it is now only endemic in three countries – Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

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Nigeria Opposition Parties Merge in an Effort to Unseat the Ruling Party and President Goodluck Jonathan

February 8, 2013

“The People’s Democratic Party has won every presidential election since a return to civilian rule 14 years ago. It controls around two-thirds of the states and has a healthy majority in both houses of the national assembly.”

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French Troops Still Attempting to Secure Northern Town of Gao in Mali

February 7, 2013

“French troops are now searcing out al-Qaeda-linked rebels who may be mixing among the population of the town, after new clashes raised questions about the military’s hold over the north.”

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Weapons and Explosives Abandoned by Islamist Rebels Discovered in Gao, Mali

February 7, 2013

“Soldiers combing abandoned jihadist hideouts and sand-dusted streets for weapons have found industrial-strength explosives, raising the specter Wednesday of bomb attacks by the jihadists who fled into the desert after the arrival of French forces.”

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France Asks United Nations Security Council to Consider a Peacekeeping Force in Mali

February 7, 2013

“France’s U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud told reporters that he started discussions on the issue during closed council consultations on Mali, but insisted that a U.N. force would deploy only when security conditions permit.”

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