Mali: the army says it hits armored vehicles left by the UN during withdrawal

Mali: the army says it hits armored vehicles left by the UN during withdrawal

The Malian army said on Wednesday that it had struck two armored vehicles abandoned according to it by the UN mission during its withdrawal and which had fallen into the hands of what it presented as "terrorists" in the strategic town of Kidal (north).

Aerial surveillance carried out Tuesday and Wednesday identified “terrorists in possession of two armored vehicles abandoned by Minusma in Kidal,” the army said on social networks.

The two armored vehicles “were neutralized by air vectors” of the army, the latter said.

The army has been carrying out air strikes since the end of last week in Kidal in the wake of the withdrawal of Minusma from this town, a bastion of the Tuareg rebellion and a major sovereignty issue for the central state.

Drone strikes on Tuesday killed 14 civilians, including children, according to the rebellion. The army claimed to have targeted “terrorist targets” in the former camp of the UN mission.

These strikes confirm the fears of a confrontation for which the several tens of thousands of inhabitants of the city, historic center of the independence insurgencies, have been preparing for some time due to the disengagement of Minusma.

Since August, the north has been the scene of a military escalation between the actors present: regular army, rebels who have just resumed hostilities, jihadists who have not stopped but intensified them.

The withdrawal of Minusma, pushed out by the junta, triggered a race for control of the territory.

The UN mission, constrained by this deterioration in security, accelerated its disengagement and left its Kidal camp last week. The separatist rebellion immediately took control, ahead of the army.

The haste in the withdrawal of Minusma irritated the junta, which wanted to align this departure with the arrival of the army. The obstacles put by the junta on the evacuation forced Minusma to destroy or decommission part of its equipment because it could not take it away, the mission said.

Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, reiterated on Wednesday that the accelerated withdrawal of the last 848 peacekeepers from Kidal (from Bangladesh, Chad, Egypt, Guinea and Nepal) had taken place in dangerous conditions on 350 km of road without air cover, due to lack of flight authorization from the Malian authorities.

The convoy of 143 vehicles that left Kidal on October 31 and arrived Tuesday evening in Gao (north) hit six improvised explosive devices and 37 peacekeepers had to receive treatment, he said in a press release.

Minusma is supposed to be gone by December 31.

She has now left eight of her thirteen camps. It should evacuate its camps in Ansongo (north) and Mopti (center) in the coming weeks, Mr. Dujarric said. Three final bases, in Gao, Timbuktu (north) and Bamako, will be used after January 1 to “liquidate” the mission, he recalled.

Minusma, more than 180 members of which have been killed in hostile acts since its deployment in 2013, has withdrawn half of its 13,871 personnel, he said.

Senegal: emergency measures to combat illegal emigration

The President of Senegal Macky Sall has ordered emergency measures to be taken to stem the growing flow of departures of migrants, who are taking canoes to reach Europe, his services said Wednesday evening.

Mr. Sall asked the government on Wednesday "to take emergency security, economic, financial and social measures in order to neutralize the departures of emigrants from the national territory", said a press release published after the Council of Ministers.

The effort must involve the Ministers of the Interior, the Armed Forces, Youth and Fisheries, according to the press release which also refers to the national strategy to combat irregular migration presented in July by the government.

Senegal, a West African country that President Sall is trying to put on the path to emergence, is facing a flood of departures by sea to the Canaries, a Spanish archipelago and gateway. from Europe.

The press reports several times a week on the arrival of canoes in the Canaries, interceptions or rescues in the Atlantic, off the coast of Senegal or in the waters approaching the Canaries. This dangerous migration gave rise to a series of tragedies.

Since the start of the week, the press has once again reported the disappearance of a considerable number of migrants who left Bargny, on the coast east of Dakar. AFP was unable to obtain confirmation of these disappearances from the authorities.

The migration issue has become a theme of the current campaign for the presidential election in February 2024. Prime Minister Amadou Ba is the presidential camp's candidate to succeed Mr. Sall.

The Canaries have seen a record number of migrant arrivals since 2006 with 30,705 people arriving between January 1 and October 31, more than double (+111%) compared to the same period last year, according to the latest figures. of the Spanish Ministry of the Interior.

Two thirds come from sub-Saharan Africa, according to the European coast and border guard agency Frontex. The Senegalese, along with the Moroccans, are the most numerous among the new arrivals, according to Frontex and several Spanish NGOs.

Madagascar: 16 demonstrators injured, a deputy arrested

In Madagascar, at least 16 people were injured, including 12 civilians and 4 members of the police, during an opposition demonstration on Wednesday in Antananarivo.

One week before the presidential election in the country, the opposition united within the Collective of 10 had arranged to meet with its supporters in the Mahamasina district, except that they were awaited by the police.

A clash took place between the two camps after the arrest of the deputy of the 5th district of the Malagasy capital, Fetra Ralambozafimbololona.

The tear gas shots around Mahamasina, which is home to hospitals and several health centers, were denounced by healthcare workers.

The large island in the Indian Ocean has been shaken for weeks by a fierce battle between the government and the collective, each member of which is however running individually in the presidential election on November 16.

These opponents have been regularly denouncing for more than a month what they call "an institutional coup" orchestrated according to them by outgoing President Andry Rajoelina with a view to the election. They demand a “free and fair” election.

A wave of indignation has gripped the population following this umpteenth violent repression by the gendarmes against the demonstrators.
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