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May 23, 2013
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Mali on Monday sent its Minister for Malians Overseas and African Integration, Rokiatou Guiguini, to Conakry for talks with Guinean Foreign Minister on the recent deportation of 25 Malians for alleged links with Islamists in the north of Mali.
The Malian minister also held talks with Guinean Prime Minister Mohamed Saïd Fofana.
In Mali, there is a heightened anticipation of an African intervention force to be sent to the north of the country occupied by armed Islamist rebel forces since January this year.
This could be as a result of a high level international meeting held last week in the capital Bamako reportedly intended to consolidate plans for the deployment of the intervention force.
Mali may likely reach its ambitious objective of having 7,500 tons of crops grown during the rainy and dry seasons to boost food security and help reduce poverty in the West African nation.
Currently, some 2,500 hectares of irrigated land is being cultivated in Bewani in the region of Segou, with an investment of about 13 billion CFA Francs.
Twenty-five Malians have been expelled from Guinea for allegedly holding “clandestine meetings” in the capital, Conakry.
The suspicion is that the 25 Malians are supporting the rebels who control Northern Mali, official sources said.
A cross-border cholera sensitization exercise has been taking place in the southern Senegalese border town of Diaobé in the Kolda region, straddling Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Mali and Guinea Conakry.
Health workers have been sensitizing communities about the importance of basic hygiene and other methods to prevent and treat cholera.
A three-day international meeting of African countries and the Franc zone is underway here in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, to discuss regional single currency regimes on the continent.
Former military junta leader, Capitan Amadou Sanogo, has been appointed chairman of the army reform committee set up by the interim government.
The appointment comes on the heels of an international conference on the Malian crisis slated for 19 October in the capital, Bamako.
Despite the official hand-over of power by the military junta to the interim civilian administration in Bamako, reality on the ground suggests that ex-junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo and his soldiers are still pulling the strings.
Captain Sanogo and a group of soldiers last March overthrew the civilian government of former President Amadou Toumani Toure, claiming that the army was not getting adequate support to fight the advancing rebels in the north.
--Plan Int’l urges commitment to end suffering
With no immediate end in sight to the Malian crisis, “reports have now surfaced that safety of children fleeing the conflict in Mali has been compromised,” the children development organization, said Plan International.
Armed, masked assailants abducted and beat a veteran journalist in Mali on Thursday, leaving him with a broken hand and other injuries. And the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has condemned “this brutal attack on Saouti Labass Haïdara and are deeply concerned that it comes in retaliation for L'Indépendant's critical reporting."