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Mali Pro-government Fighters Pull Out Of Key Town

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Pro-government fighters withdrew from a flashpoint town in northern Mali on Friday, removing a  key obstacle to a long-delayed UN-backed peace deal due to be signed this weekend. “We have handed over control of the town to MINUSMA and the Malian army and we have left,” said Fahad Ag Al Mahamoud, secretary general of a pro-Bamako armed group GATIA, part of a broader coalition called Platform. Aljazeera reports:

The Malian army and sources from the UN peacekeeping force (MINUSMA) confirmed their departure on Friday. One MINUSMA source said that a convoy of 60 vehicles had left the town. Mostly Tuareg separatists rebels, who have refused to sign past versions of the deal, said they would not agree unless rival groups loyal to the Malian government left Menaka.

The UN special envoy for the Mali mission said the departure from Menaka was a clear and reassuring sign that the peace process was on track. “MINUSMA praises the courageous and responsible decision made by Platform showing their commitment to advancing the peace process for the benefit of all Malians,” said Mongi Hamdi.

Residents in the northern town of Kidal said that leaders from a Tuareg-led coalition of armed groups known as Coordination of Azawad Mouvements (CMA) were preparing to depart for the Bamako signing ceremony.

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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