France Sending Troops to the Sahel

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France to Significantly Extend Counter-Terror Operations Across the Sahel…With its operations winding down in Mali, France is planning to shift resources and deploy troops throughout the Sahel region. “The new operation, codenamed Barkhan, will kick off in the coming days and is being implemented in partnership with five countries in the Sahel-Sahara region, Le Drian said, without detailing which nations these were…the operation would consist of around 3,000 soldiers supported by drones, helicopters and fighter jets. (France 24

A Way Out of the Afghan Election Crisis? John Kerry to the rescue. “Secretary of state John Kerry said on Saturday both of Afghanistan’s presidential candidates were committed to abiding by the results of the “largest and most comprehensive audit” of the election runoff ballots possible. Kerry stood with the two candidates who are disputing the results of Afghanistan’s presidential election. He announced that finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah had agreed to abide by a 100%, internationally supervised audit of all ballots in the presidential election in Kabul.” (Guardian


Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has claimed responsibility for two blasts on June 25 at a fuel depot in Nigeria’s commercial hub of Lagos, AFP reported on Sunday, which, if true, would be the first recorded attack on the city by the militants. (Reuters

Obtaining healthy food is difficult in the Central African Republic capital city of Bangui, where conflict has caused prices to soar, while across the country many peasant farms lie barren. (AFP

Central African Republic‘s mainly Muslim Seleka rebel group has reinstated Michel Djotodia as its leader, a spokesman said, months after international pressure forced him to step aside for failing to halt violence that erupted after he seized power last year. (Reuters

In Sierra Leone, people are accusing doctors of administering lethal injections to the Ebola patients or removing vital organs for sale in European markets. As a result, doctors and nurses in the hospitals have been attacked and many nurses are not wearing their uniforms on the way to work for fear of being attacked in the streets. (IPS

Women’s rights activists in the Gambia are insisting that more than 30 years of campaigning to raise awareness should be sufficient to move the government to outlaw female genital mutilation. (IPS

Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai is in Nigeria to campaign on behalf of the more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by the rebel group Boko Haram in northeastern Borno state. (VOA

Goma, a city in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, sits by one of the world’s largest freshwater reservoirs and has some of Africa’s heaviest annual rainfall, yet it is a thirsty place. Most of the city’s one million residents, living close to the shores of Lake Kivu, have to struggle every day to fetch water home. (AP


Thousands of Palestinians were fleeing northern Gaza on Sunday after a night of intense Israeli strikes and an explicit warning from the army that the raids were set to intensify. (AP

The mother of a two-month-old Syrian girl rescued from the rubble of a bombed Aleppo building appealed on Saturday for help to raise her son. (AP

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is to ask the United Nations to put the state of Palestine under “international protection” in light of the worsening violence in the Gaza Strip, the PLO said. (AFP

Heavy fighting broke out between rival militias vying for control of Libya’s main airport on Sunday, killing at least seven people and forcing a halt of all flights in the worst fighting in the capital for six months.(Reuters


Poor sanitation and lack of toilets may be a root cause of malnutrition in India (NYT

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today the BRICS summit to take place in Brazil next week will allow his country to strengthen ties with Latin American nations. (Prensa Latina

The Americas

Venezuelan Environment Minister Miguel Leonardo Rodríguez warned against the negative effects of the severe drought that is affecting the state of Zulia, which is causing serious water shortages. (Prensa Latina


Can this Man Save Syria? (UN Dispatch

Prabowo loses election, but how will he respond? (The Interpeter

A chat with Oxfam America chief rabble rouser Ray Offenheiser (Humanosphere

What explains peace? (Rachel Strohm

Creating Consequences for South Sudan’s Political Elite (The Daily Beast

Those Girls Haven’t Been Brought Back (NY Times

A Refugee Crisis, Not an Immigration Crisis (NY Times

West Africa’s Misguided War on Drugs (Policy Innovations