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French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday welcomed the release and soon-to-return to France of a humanitarian aid worker who was kidnapped and held in captivity by militants in Mali for almost four years. Sophie Petronin was abducted by a group of armed militants in December 2016 in the northeastern Malian city of Gao. She spent 1,381 days in extremists’ custody. Petronin has been known as the last French hostage in the world. “I just exchanged...

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Senegal is a major center of West African Islam, and its imams, mullah, and brotherhoods are influential across the Sahel. The holy city of Touba, 120 miles east of the Senegalese capital of Dakar, is the site of a major, annual pilgrimage called the Magal, which is now underway. While no estimates are yet available as to the number of participants this year, in past years there have been as many as five million. The pilgrimage...

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Tuesday lifted the sanctions imposed on Mali in the wake of an August 18, 2020, military coup, citing Mali’s “notable advances towards constitutional normalisation” as the reason for the relaxation of the sanctions. The regional bloc announced the lifting of the sanctions in a statement by Chairman of ECOWAS Authority and President of Ghana, Nana Kuffo Addo. The lifting of the sanctions comes two days after...

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It has been revealed that the Yoruba people who dominated South-West Nigeria also constituted about one-quarter of the total population in Benin Republic. This was revealed by the Secretary-General of the Federation of Yoruba Obas in Benin Republic (FYOBR), Oba Abdul-Wahab Adio Ogunjin during an interview with Bola Bamigbola. The Yoruba Monarch added that there are total of 34 Yoruba Obas in Benin Republic He also disclosed that there are other Nigerian groups that are...

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In August, jihadists in Niger killed six French aid workers and two Nigeriens just outside of the capital, Niamey. Terrorist attacks have increased by 250 percent over the last two years in Africa’s Sahel region, according to the State Department. To help counter the threat of terrorism and build the capacity of African militaries, the U.S. government spends over $1.5 billion a year on security assistance to the African continent. Does this support work? Reliable security cooperation and assistance data are...

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The newly appointed President of Mali’s Transition government, Bah N’daw, has commended the mediator for Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan for the role he played in restoring normalcy in the country, following a political crisis in the country. N’Daw during his inauguration on Friday said this in Bamako, despite the ECOWAS indication that it would only lift sanctions on Mali after a new Prime Minister had...

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The Nigeria Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, who is currently mediating in the Mali crisis for the West Africa bloc, ECOWAS, has said the organization would probably decide on Friday whether it would lift the economic sanction imposed on Mali. Jonathan said this while speaking in the capital of Mali, Bamako on Wednesday. He also described the measure imposition on the country by the 15-nation bloc “unfortunate.” West African leaders have been putting pressure on Mali’s...

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The ECOWAS Court of Justice will begin the hearing of the suit instituted by two Malian groups on Friday. The suit is challenging the legality of the August 18, 2020 sanction imposed on Mali shortly after the Military coup stagged against the democratic President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. The statement by the media unit of the ECOWAS Court added that the suit was, on September 9, 2020, instituted by two groups, against the ECOWAS Commission and...

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On September 2, Boko Haram (ISWA) militants reportedly killed 10 Nigerian soldiers in Borno state. Such bloodshed has become so commonplace that it often fails to garner much interest. International news outlets spilled little ink to report the incident. Nevertheless, the failures of the region’s militaries—as well as the Lake Chad Basin Commission’s Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF)—to combat Boko Haram merit greater attention from policymakers and the international community. The widespread and persistent human rights abuses...

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President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to ECOWAS leaders not to elongate their tenure in office beyond constitutional limits. Malam Garba Shehu, the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja said Buhari made the appeal while presenting Nigeria’s General Statement at the 57th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Niamey, Niger Republic on Monday. The Nigerian leader urged his colleagues to respect constitutional provisions and ensure...

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