Africa News Roundup: Mopti Area Clashes, Malian Refugees, Lake Chad, and More

More on the clashes around Mopti, Mali and on international reactions:

  • NYT: “Mali Government Is Left Reeling After Islamists Take Village Long Held by Army.” The village in question is Konna (more on the conquest of Konna from France24 here). NYT adds, “The Islamists now threaten a major airfield some 25 miles away at the town of Sévaré, which is also the home of a significant army base. And 10 miles from Sévaré is the historic river city of Mopti, the last major town [i.e., in this area] controlled by the Malian government, with a population of more than 100,000.” Information from different sources is still highly confusing and contradictory at times; for example, NYT describes Konna as “a sleepy mud-brick village,” while France24 calls it “a city of 50,000 people.”
  • Al Jazeera: “UN urges swift deployment of troops to Mali”
  • AP: “President Francois Hollande said Friday that France will be ready to intervene to stop al-Qaida-linked militants in Mali who have been moving toward its capital.” According to Sahara Medias (Arabic),  four planes carrying French special forces arrived in Sevare from Chad on Thursday night. More here.
  • Reuters: “France, Nigeria and Senegal are already providing Malian government forces with assistance on the ground against Islamist insurgents, a defense ministry spokesman said on Friday.”


In Mbéra refugee camp in eastern Mauritania, home to 55,000 Malians, just under one child in five is malnourished, and 4.6 percent are severely malnourished – two to three times the national average, according to a just-released November survey by NGO Médecins sans Frontières (MSF).

IRIN again:

Around 800 Nigerien families have been relocated from areas along the River Niger as water levels during annual flooding are expected to rise above normal and last until February.

The river is predicted to rise 540-565cm, which while not as high as recorded during the August 2012 flooding when it rose to 618cm, is above the 530cm alert level, the Niger Basin Authority said in a recent statement.

The flooding comes just a few months after more than 500,000 people were displaced and over 80 killed by floods in Niger following torrential rains in August and September 2012 which inundated thousands of rice farms.

On January 7, a Senegalese man set himself on fire outside the residence of President Macky Sall, and died the following day. “Cheikh Mbaye, 32, apparently said that life was better under ex-President Abdoulaye Wade, local media report.”

Reuters: “Two weeks of fighting in Sudan’s Darfur has displaced 30,000 people who are in need for food and shelter, the United Nations said after some of the worst clashes in the western region for months.” Recent UN News reports here and here.

Horseed Media: “Turkish Doctors to Train Specialists in Somalia”

Two on Nigeria:

  • Bloomberg: “The Nigeria police introduced a code of conduct for its officers to deal with allegations of extra- judicial killings and other abuses made by rights groups including Amnesty International.”
  • Al Jazeera: “Once counted as the largest water reservoirs in Africa, Nigeria’s Lake Chad is rapidly shrinking due to excessive use and climate change. The lake supplies water to four different countries, but it could dry up by the end of the century.”

What else happened this week?

2 thoughts on “Africa News Roundup: Mopti Area Clashes, Malian Refugees, Lake Chad, and More

  1. Thanks Alex for this round-up.

    Just checked tahalil hebdo of mauritania this morning and it seems there could be some witch hunting againt lighter skin malians or mauritanians and I guess it is not true. however, you never know. Useless to take revenge against civilians and they are different from the AQIM/MUJAO/AnsarDine crop. See the link to the article in French below:

    It says: “Les Maliens teint clairs commencent de nouveau à fuir vers la Mauritanie notamment à travers Fassala. Les bombardements ont été étendus au Nord du Mali et ont touché Tombouctou, indiquent des sources sur place. «Une mosquée a été détruite par les bombardements» rapporte l’une de nos sources.
    A Bamako ,des Mauritaniens ont été pris pour cibles par des militaires qui les ont menacés de mort dans ce qui s’apparente à un début d’une nouvelle vague de chasse aux sorcières. La guerre est restée à ce stade principalement aérienne”.

    Once this war goes on, where the leftover of the djihadists will go to hide? Not in Mauritania where the army and MNLA will be waiting for them and not in Niger. Burkina is not foolish to let them in. Read the news yesterday (El Watan) and algeria, Libya et Tunis closing their border completely. As a supreme conspiracy theorist myself, the fabricated djihadists will be abandoned because the conditions are ripe now for installing foreign military bases and choosing who later will win elections or subject to coups d’éttats. All this for some dirty oil and bad smelling gas and killing uranium? Curious to know what Jeremy Keenan has to say about all this.

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