U.S. adds new sanctions to Pevgeniy Prigozhin over Ukraine invasion

The United States has broadened its efforts to place sanctions against Russian elites in connection with the armed conflict in Ukraine, this time adding a group of individuals that includes Pevgeniy Prigozhin, a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Prigozhin was previously targeted by the U.S. Department of Treasury for…

Mali confirms Russian fighter presence near Timbuktu

Russian troops have been deployed in Mali, where they will serve as military trainers for the Malian defense forces near the city of Timbuktu. That’s according to a government spokesman cited by Reuters and other international news agencies. Witnesses living in the region told Reuters they had seen uniformed Russian…

Lavrov defends Russia’s role in Sahel, confirms Wagner plans

The Russian foreign ministry confirmed reports that Mali plans to hire contractors with the Wagner Group to fight extremism in the Sahel, but insisted again that the private company is not operating under Moscow’s control. The remarks from Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov followed questions about the presence of Wagner…

Amnesty: Europe’s weapons sales are arming Sahel extremists

Weapons from Serbia and other European nations are being used by extremists in the Sahel and supporting armed conflict, according to a new Amnesty International report. The global NGO said it reviewed more than 400 pieces of digital media from Burkina Faso and Mali, including verified photos and videos posted…

Mali confirms knife attack on Goïta during Eid prayers

Officials in Mali say an attempted attack on interim leader Assimi Goïta on Tuesday was unsuccessful, and that they’re investigating the incident. Goïta was at the Grand Mosque in Bamako when an assailant with a knife approached him, according to an Agence France-Presse journalist who witnessed the attack. Mali’s transitional president…

African Union, ECOWAS suspend Mali over coup

The African Union has suspended Mali’s membership following the second coup in the Sahel nation within the past year. The AU said it “totally rejects coups d’état and unconstitutional changes of government,” in a communique issued late Tuesday by the Peace and Security Council. The statement also called on the…

Report: Mali’s Bah N’Daw resigns during ECOWAS meeting

Transitional president Bah N’Daw has resigned, according to Malian news sources. The resignation was presented to Assimi Goïta, the transitional vice president, during an emergency meeting with former Nigerian president Jonathan Goodluck and his delegation from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Bah N’Daw has reportedly dissolved his…

Big Tobacco ploughing crooked furrow in African markets

Note: This article was updated on March 26, 2021 to include comments from Apollinaire Compaoré. Two troubling recent investigations from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) have shone a fresh spotlight on the tobacco industry’s continued complicity in tobacco smuggling in Africa. The first highlighted how Philip Morris…

On heels of Sahel summit, another 35 die in Chad

Another 35 people have died in Chad following clashes in Salamat Province in the southeastern part of the country, a development that follows on this week’s regional security summit among the five Sahel nations and France. The communal fighting between farmers and herders began with an attack at a roadblock,…