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Congo expels U.N. peacekeeping mission spokesman after protests

Congo expels U.N. peacekeeping mission spokesman after protests

THE Democratic Republic of Congo has asked the spokesman of the U.N. peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO, to leave the country, blaming him for stoking tensions that led to deadly protests last week. Thirty-six people, including four U.N. peacekeepers, were killed last week as hundreds of protesters vandalised and set fire to U.N. buildings in several cities in Congo's east.  Civilians accuse the mission, which has been active for more than a decade, of failing to protect them from militia violence that has long plagued the region. The government said that the spokesman, Mathias Gillmann, had made "indelicate and inappropriate" statements which…
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U.N. peacekeepers deployed to northeastern Mali amid spate of killings

U.N. peacekeepers deployed to northeastern Mali amid spate of killings

PAUL LORGERIE THE United Nations peacekeeping force in Mali has deployed two units to the African country's tri-border area with Burkina Faso and Niger to respond to a spate of civilian killings, it said. A surge in attacks since early March by an Islamic State affiliate has left hundreds of civilians dead, according to official and military sources. The region has long been a hotspot of jihadist and militia violence in West Africa. "The security situation in the Tri-border area... particularly in the localities of Tessit, Talataye, Ansongo and the Menaka region, has deteriorated considerably in recent weeks," said the…
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Russian contractors accused of abuses

Russian contractors accused of abuses

U.N. experts expressed alarm yesterday over reports of executions and other abuses by Russian security contractors in the Central African Republic and over their close contacts with U.N. peacekeepers. Russia first sent security contractors to CAR in 2018. It stepped up its support late last year to help the government fend off a rebel advance launched before the December 27 presidential election. Since then, the contractors have accompanied national forces as they retake towns from the rebels, CAR's government has said. The contractors include members of Russia's Wagner Group, the U.N. experts said in a statement. Wagner Group members have…
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20 U.N. peacekeepers injured in Mali

20 U.N. peacekeepers injured in Mali

TWENTY United Nations peacekeepers were injured, including several seriously, in central Mali yesterday when their base came under fire, a U.N. mission spokesman said. The base near the town of Douentza was attacked, a spokesman for the MINUSMA mission, Olivier Salgado, told Reuters. He did not say who was responsible. Islamist militant groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic States regularly attack U.N. peacekeepers and Malian soldiers in the area. "The MINUSMA chief firmly condemns the attack and has ordered that all measures be taken to treat the wounded," Salgado said. Deployed since 2013, the U.N. currently has over 14,000…
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Fearing violence, shops shut, people hunker down before Central African vote

Fearing violence, shops shut, people hunker down before Central African vote

ANTOINE ROLLAND PANIC has gripped the streets of Central African Republic's capital Bangui with businesses closing and people holing up in their homes as the country braced for a general election that has stoked the embers of violence. Rwanda and Russia have sent military aid to help the government restore calm as security forces and United Nations peacekeepers battle rebels who have occupied towns and roads outside the capital. Russia, seeking to increase its influence in Africa, is an ally of President Faustin-Archange Touadera, a relationship often seen as a threat to the influence of former colonial power France in…
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