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Three Ivorian UN Peacekeepers Killed in Mali Attack

The use roadside bombs — or improvised explosive devices (IED) — is a common tactic used by the militants in the arid Sahel region.



Three United Nations peacekeepers from Ivory Coast have been killed in central Mali on Wednesday, the UN has said, in the latest violence to hit the Sahel state.

According to a statement from the MINUSMA peacekeeping mission, the United Nations peacekeepers hit a roadside bomb while travelling the road linking the central town of Douentza to the city of Timbuktu further north.

Gunmen opened fire on the convoy killing three soldiers and six more were wounded, the statement added.

“The robust response of the peacekeepers drove the cowardly assailants to flee,” the MINUSMA statement said.

Earlier on Wednesday, a UN spokesman in New York said in a statement that one peacekeeper was killed and seven wounded.

The attack on the United Nations peacekeepers is the latest in a brutal conflict which has been raging in Mali since 2012 when terrorists overtook a rebellion by mostly ethnic Tuareg separatists in the country’s north.

The conflict in Northern mail, which has killed thousands of soldiers and civilians to date, has since spread to central Mali as well as neighbouring countries like Burkina Faso and Niger, sparking ethnic tensions along the way.

The use roadside bombs — or improvised explosive devices (IED) — is a common tactic used by the militants in the arid Sahel region.

France has lost five soldiers to IED attacks in the area, since late December. France has 5,100 troops deployed across Sahel.

MINUSMA is the deadliest peacekeeping mission in the world. First established in 2013, the mission is about 13,000 soldiers strong. More than 230 of its personnel have died since the mission began.

MINUSMA head Mahamat Saleh Annadif condemned the attack on UN peacekeepers on Wednesday, saying he “bowed with deep sadness before the memory of the peacekeepers”.

“At a time when all efforts are being mobilised to get Mali out of its rut, I deeply deplore the resurgence of these attacks against national and international forces, as well as the civilian population,” he added.

This recent attack on United Nations peacekeepers occurred a day after a UN Security Council Meeting devoted to peace efforts in Mali.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his latest report, expressed concern about the deteriorating security crisis, pointing to the situation in central Mali as particularly worrying.

The newly formed interim government in Mali is also under pressure to quell the seemingly endless conflict.

Anger expressed by Malians about the lack of progress against the insurgents  and perceived corruption were part reasons behind the protests against president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, which eventually led to the military coup that removed him from power in August last year.

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East Africa Politics News

Bobi Wine Rejects Preliminary Presidential Election Results



Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, candidate of the National Unity Platform in Uganda’s Presidential election has rejected the preliminary results posted by the electoral commission.

The Electoral Commission of Uganda has declared preliminary results from more than 10,000 polling units. From the results, incumbent President, Yoweri Museveni is leading closest competitor, Bobi Wine with a difference of over 2 million votes between both candidates.

As at the 5th update of the electoral commission, Museveni had 3,091,725 votes while Bobi Wine had 1,445,805 votes. Museveni currently has 62.74% of the votes while Kyagulanyi has garnered 29.34% of total votes cast.

Bobi Wine in a Press conference held in his home said the electoral commission was just there to announce the results given to it. He said the results being announced do not reflect the will of Ugandans.

“At the National tally center, Mr Byabakama, the chairperson of the EC is not in charge. Byabakama is only there to come and announce what has been given to him by several operatives who have been deployed there, ” Bobi Wine said.

Recall that the internet was shut down in Uganda barely a day before the election.

Several CSOs and electoral information-based NGOs were also denied accreditation to observe the election.

The US government and the EU were also not granted accreditation before the election.

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South Africa’s Mining Industry to Support COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

The mining companies say they are well-positioned to support the COVID-19 response due to decades of experience combatting tuberculosis and HIV-AIDS among workers, including the creation of on-site treatment facilities.



In a bid to help curb the spread of coronavirus infection rates, South Africa’s mining companies, otherwise known as the Minerals Council have announced that they will support the government in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines as the country battles a spike in infections.

The mining companies say they are well-positioned to support the COVID-19 response due to decades of experience combatting tuberculosis and HIV-AIDS among workers, including the creation of on-site treatment facilities.
Also, The Minerals Council said its members are developing plans to use the sector’s healthcare infrastructure and delivery capability to accelerate the vaccination programme.

The government has called on the private sector, including miners, to assist with the rollout of vaccines but has not yet outlined exactly how it should assist.

According to the Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter, he said: “While Government is primarily responsible for funding the vaccine rollout and is the single buyer, the industry can play a material role in accelerating the vaccination programme on mines and in mining communities.”

Keep Reading:

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South Africa’s Biggest Pharmacies To Offer COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19: South Africa to Receive 1.5 Million Doses of AstraZeneca Vaccine from India

 Medical Schemes To Partly Fund South Africa’s COVID-19 Vaccination

Precious metals producer Sibanye-Stillwater disclosed that it could carry out 18,000 vaccinations a day using its 45 health and medical facilities. “We could probably vaccinate our entire workforce of around 80,000 people in about a week,” said Sibanye spokesman James Wellsted, while adding that talks were ongoing about extending vaccinations to the community.

Earlier this week, President Cyril Ramaphosa said 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been secured as the country battles infections which reached a peak of more than 21,000 a day, taking total cases to nearly 1.3 million, which is the most on the African continent.

With over 230 COVID-19 deaths in the mining industry, unions have called on mining firms to help pay for vaccines. “They have been making huge profits, and now it’s time for them to buy vaccines for their employees,” said National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) spokesman Livhuwani Mammburu.

In a revealing budget for the vaccines, South Africa’s government has said it might meet 70% of its vaccine needs with AstraZeneca’s shot, which is the cheapest at an estimated 54 Rand ($3.56) per dose. At that price, vaccinating all the country’s more than 470,000 mineworkers with the two-dose regimen from AstraZeneca will cost around 50.9 million rands ($3.36 million).

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Libya Welcomes Dutch Ambassador to Tripoli



The Libyan Interior Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Fathi Bachagha, has welcomed the Dutch Ambassador to Libya, Lars Tomers, back to the Embassy in Tripoli.

Most diplomatic missions left Tripoli in 2014 due to the deteriorating security situation, but in recent years, many of them have resumed work again following the improvement of the situation.

“We will continue to cooperate together in the fight against corruption, terrorism and organised crime,” Mr Bachagha said in a tweet published after meeting Mr. Tomers.

During the meeting, which was held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior in Tripoli, Mr Bachagha and Tomers discussed the strengthening of bilateral cooperation in the areas of fighting organised crime, terrorism, money laundering, drugs and psychotropic substances, illegal immigration and other issues of common interest.

Earlier, Mr Tomers wrote in a tweet that he had “an open and fruitful discussion with Mr Bachagha regarding the strengthening of bilateral cooperation between Libya and the Netherlands in the fight against organised crime, corruption, terrorism and illegal immigration”.

He said he also reaffirmed his support for the UN Mission and the Libyan Forum for Political Dialogue.

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