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Infos: ECOWAS won’t sanction Mali over detained Ivorian soldiers

Ivorian soldiers   –   Copyright © africanews AFP or licensors By Nadia Colombe Gbane with AFP Last updated: 13 hours ago Mali The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had given Mali until January 1st to release 46 Ivorian soldiers it claims are mercenaries. However, the date has now passed and the 46 soldiers, who

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Infos: ECOWAS won’t sanction Mali over detained Ivorian soldiers
Ivorian soldiers   –  

Copyright © africanews

AFP or licensors

Mali

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had given Mali until January 1st to release 46 Ivorian soldiers it claims are mercenaries.

However, the date has now passed and the 46 soldiers, who were sentenced to 20 years in prison, have not been released. 

It appears ECOWAS, the main regional body for West Africa, does not intend to punish Mali, not yet anyway.

On 22 December, a visit to Bamako by an official Ivorian delegation ended with the signing of a memorandum, with the Ivorian Minister of Defence, Téné Birahima Ouattara, brother of the Head of State, stressing that the matter was “on the way to resolution.”

It appears that, as relations between Mali and Côte d'Ivoire have improved significantly with the memorandum recently signed by the two governments, ECOWAS considers it is not the time to create new tensions.

The agreement reached between Mali and Ivory Coast leaves open the possibility of a presidential pardon for the head of the Malian military junta, Assimi Goïta.

Therefore, all eyes are now on Koulouba, the seat of the presidential palace in Bamako.

And to speed up the process that could lead to a pardon, the defence lawyers have filed an act of non-appeal to certify that they renounce all means of appeal.

According to Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, the soldiers “will soon return to Ivorian soil.”

“My thoughts are particularly with our soldiers detained in Mali since 10 July,” Ouattara said in his end-of-year speech broadcast on national television RTI.

“Thanks to diplomatic actions undertaken with the support of leaders of several friendly countries, including the president of the Togolese Republic Faure Gnassingbé, three female soldiers were released last September,” he recalled.

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          Mali court sentences 46 Ivorian soldiers to 20 years in prison

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            Mali court sentences 46 Ivorian soldiers to 20 years in prison

            Mali: 46 Ivorian soldiers tried in Bamako

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              Infos: Ahead visit to DR Congo, Pope Francis denounces “colonialist mentality” towards Africa

              Pope Francis   –   Copyright © africanews AP Photo By Rédaction Africanews Last updated: 3 hours ago Democratic Republic Of Congo In an exclusive interview with the Associated Press at the Vatican, just a week ahead of his scheduled trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, Pope Francis denounced a “colonialist mentality” of

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              Infos: Ahead visit to DR Congo, Pope Francis denounces “colonialist mentality” towards Africa
              Pope Francis   –  

              Copyright © africanews

              AP Photo

              Democratic Republic Of Congo

              In an exclusive interview with the Associated Press at the Vatican, just a week ahead of his scheduled trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, Pope Francis denounced a “colonialist mentality” of the international community toward Africa.

              “There is a historical, geographical reality. In Italian it is said 'Africa va fruttata', that is, Africa is meant to be exploited. And that is a kind of colonialist mentality that remains,” said Francis on Tuesday.

              He pointed to a problem of attitude toward the African continent.

              “A kind of colonialist mentality…remains,” Francis said.

              “That is a problem of our attitude and of not yet (having the) courage of total independence on their part.”

              Earlier in January Francis had sent his condolences to the victims of a bombing on a Pentecostal church in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

              Islamic militants claimed the attack, which killed at least 14 people and injured more than 60.

              Francis is due to arrive in the capital of Congolese Kinshasa on Jan. 31 for a three-day visit.

              When it was originally scheduled for July, the trip was supposed to include a stop in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.

              The Vatican scrapped that leg of the trip, amid a new wave of attacks in parts of North Kivu.

              Continent afflicted by “internal wars”

              Violence has wracked eastern Congo for decades as more than 120 armed groups and self-defence militias fight for land and power.

              “Africa is in turmoil” said Francis talking about the “internal wars” afflicting the continent.

              “And is also suffering from the invasion of exploiters” he added.

              In The AP Interview on Tuesday, Francis also addressed what he called a problem of “tribalism” in Africa.

              “The tribalism is also very strong, for example to appoint a bishop in a diocese, one has to look carefully, that he belongs to the group – not to say tribe – that he belongs to the group,” he said adding that during a visit to Kenya, a crowd chanted repeatedly “no to tribalism.”

              “It was a scream from the whole stadium. They themselves feel that difficulty, it is a people that is consolidating itself more and more in freedom.”

              The fighting has exacerbated eastern Congo’s dire humanitarian crisis.

              Almost 6 million people are internally displaced and hundreds of thousands are facing extreme food insecurity, according to the United Nations.

              While he won't be going to Goma, Francis will meet with some residents from the east and victims of the conflict in Kinshasa.

              Amid conflict DR Congo gears up for papal visit

                Amid conflict DR Congo gears up for papal visit

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                    Bomb injures at least 12 people near a market in north-eastern DR Congo

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                      'Electoral process badly underway', DRC civil society platform warns

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                        Kinshasa prepares to welcome Pope Francis

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                          Foreign

                          Infos: Ahead visit to DR Congo, Pope Francis denounces “colonialist mentality” of Africa

                          Pope Francis   –   Copyright © africanews AP Photo By Rédaction Africanews Last updated: 2 hours ago Democratic Republic Of Congo In an exclusive interview with the Associated Press at the Vatican, just a week ahead of his scheduled trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, Pope Francis denounced a “colonialist mentality” of

                          Published

                          on

                          Infos: Ahead visit to DR Congo, Pope Francis denounces “colonialist mentality” of Africa
                          Pope Francis   –  

                          Copyright © africanews

                          AP Photo

                          Democratic Republic Of Congo

                          In an exclusive interview with the Associated Press at the Vatican, just a week ahead of his scheduled trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, Pope Francis denounced a “colonialist mentality” of the international community toward Africa.

                          “There is a historical, geographical reality. In Italian it is said 'Africa va fruttata', that is, Africa is meant to be exploited. And that is a kind of colonialist mentality that remains,” said Francis on Tuesday.

                          He pointed to a problem of attitude toward the African continent.

                          “A kind of colonialist mentality…remains,” Francis said.

                          “That is a problem of our attitude and of not yet (having the) courage of total independence on their part.”

                          Earlier in January Francis had sent his condolences to the victims of a bombing on a Pentecostal church in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

                          Islamic militants claimed the attack, which killed at least 14 people and injured more than 60.

                          Francis is due to arrive in the capital of Congolese Kinshasa on Jan. 31 for a three-day visit.

                          When it was originally scheduled for July, the trip was supposed to include a stop in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.

                          The Vatican scrapped that leg of the trip, amid a new wave of attacks in parts of North Kivu.

                          Violence has wracked eastern Congo for decades as more than 120 armed groups and self-defence militias fight for land and power.

                          “Africa is in turmoil” said Francis talking about the “internal wars” afflicting the continent.

                          “And is also suffering from the invasion of exploiters” he added.

                          In The AP Interview on Tuesday, Francis also addressed what he called a problem of “tribalism” in Africa.

                          “The tribalism is also very strong, for example to appoint a bishop in a diocese, one has to look carefully, that he belongs to the group – not to say tribe – that he belongs to the group,” he said adding that during a visit to Kenya, a crowd chanted repeatedly “no to tribalism.”

                          “It was a scream from the whole stadium. They themselves feel that difficulty, it is a people that is consolidating itself more and more in freedom.”

                          The fighting has exacerbated eastern Congo’s dire humanitarian crisis.

                          Almost 6 million people are internally displaced and hundreds of thousands are facing extreme food insecurity, according to the United Nations.

                          While he won't be going to Goma, Francis will meet with some residents from the east and victims of the conflict in Kinshasa.

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                                  Amid conflict DR Congo gears up for papal visit

                                    Amid conflict DR Congo gears up for papal visit

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                                      Infos: U.S. – South Africa: Joint initiative to combat wildlife trafficking

                                      United States Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen attends a bilateral meeting with South Africa's Finance Minister at the National Treasury in Pretoria, South Africa   –   Copyright © africanews -/AFP or licensors By Afolake Oyinloye and Agencies Last updated: 5 hours ago South Africa U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen used a tour of the Dinokeng Game

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                                      Infos: U.S. – South Africa: Joint initiative to combat wildlife trafficking
                                      United States Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen attends a bilateral meeting with South Africa's Finance Minister at the National Treasury in Pretoria, South Africa   –  

                                      Copyright © africanews

                                      -/AFP or licensors

                                      South Africa

                                      U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen used a tour of the Dinokeng Game Reserve in South Africa on Wednesday to announce a joint initiative to combat wildlife trafficking and related criminal activities in the United States and South Africa .

                                      “First, we will increase information sharing between our financial intelligence units to better support key law enforcement agencies from South Africa and the United States. Second, the task force will prioritize the sharing of financial red flags and indicators related to wildlife trafficking cases.”

                                      “We will convene relevant government authorities, regulators, law enforcement, and the private sector to improve controls to combat money laundering and the illicit proceeds related to drug trafficking and wildlife trafficking,” she added.

                                      Yellen's announcement of a joint wildlife trafficking task force at a reserve that is home to lions, leopards, elephants and critically endangered black rhinos could help a key South African industry. South Africa has an abundance of game parks and a thriving wildlife tourism industry but struggles with the effects of poaching and illegal animal trafficking.

                                      The White House strategy for Africa also outlines concern over China's involvement in sub-Saharan Africa, where it has for years entrenched itself in the region's natural resources market. China is now South Africa's biggest trade partner.

                                      Yellen started her 10-day trip in Senegal before travelling to Zambia and then arriving in South Africa.

                                      On Thursday, she is expected to meet South Africa's finance minister and then meet business leaders and the country's central bank governor.

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