Under Military Rule, Violence Rises in Mali, Burkina Faso

Islamist militants launched an attack Saturday in the Seytenga commune in northern Burkina Faso, leaving at least 79 dead according to government reports.The attack comes after months of increasing violence in both Mali and Burkina Faso, both countries…

Islamist militants launched an attack Saturday in the Seytenga commune in northern Burkina Faso, leaving at least 79 dead according to government reports.

The attack comes after months of increasing violence in both Mali and Burkina Faso, both countries currently under military rule. ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, now puts Burkina Faso as the epicenter of the Sahel conflict.

Though violence has drastically increased in Burkina Faso, Mali too has seen an increase in violence in 2022 – particularly in the Menaka and Gao regions, where there have already been more civilians killed by Islamist groups in 2022 than in any previous year.

Abdoul Aziz Azeibou, a security consultant working in Burkina Faso, said via messaging app from Ouagadougou that these Islamist groups work across borders, and have put not just the Sahel at risk, but coastal West African countries. Benin and Togo suffered attacks by Islamist militants in April and May.

He says, if we want to fight against people who have erased borders, we have to also work in an integrated manner. If Mali takes care of itself, and Burkina Faso also tries to move forward in its own manner, as long as there is no synergy of action, the problem will just get worse.

Dan Eizenga is a research fellow at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. He says that in some way the Seytenga attack is characteristic of the violence that has plagued that region in recent years, but that the scale of civilian deaths sticks out.

“I think not only are we looking at a situation where the security situation in both countries is likely to continue to deteriorate, and possibly deteriorate at a much more rapid pace, that we can expect that these juntas will continue to make the claim that because of that deterioration they need to remain in power.”

Mali’s military government previously cited the country’s insecurity as a reason that elections could not be held in February of this year as originally promised. The army has launched a publicized military campaign against Islamists, the claims of which often conflict with local reports of the military killing civilians rather than Islamist extremists.

Mali was sanctioned by regional bloc ECOWAS over the elections delay in January, after they announced a new plan to hold elections in 2026. ECOWAS released a statement today condemning the Seytenga attack, and will be holding a meeting on the situations in Burkina Faso and Mali on July 3.

Source: Voice of America

Monkeypox to get a new name, says WHO

The World Health Organization says it is working with experts to come up with a new name for monkeypox.It comes after more than 30 scientists wrote last week about the “urgent need for a non-discriminatory and non-stigmatising” name for the virus and t…

The World Health Organization says it is working with experts to come up with a new name for monkeypox.

It comes after more than 30 scientists wrote last week about the “urgent need for a non-discriminatory and non-stigmatising” name for the virus and the disease it causes.

Continued reference to the virus as African is both inaccurate and discriminatory, they said.

Some 1,600 cases of the disease have been recorded globally in recent weeks.

While 72 deaths have been reported in countries where monkeypox was already endemic, none have been seen in the newly affected 32 countries, such as the UK.

At the latest count, as of June 12, there were 452 confirmed cases in England, 12 in Scotland, 2 in Northern Ireland and 4 in Wales.

The World Health Organization says it will hold an emergency meeting next week to determine whether to classify the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern – the highest alarm the UN agency can sound.

The only other diseases this has happened for in the past are Swine flu, polio, Ebola, Zika and Covid.

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “The outbreak of monkeypox is unusual and concerning.

“For that reason I have decided to convene the Emergency Committee under the international health regulations next week, to assess whether this outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.”

Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus, a member of the same family of viruses as smallpox, although it is much less severe.

Infections are usually mild and the risk to the general population is low, but the UK government has bought stocks of smallpox vaccine to guard against it.

The virus has been spreading in an unusual manner around the world in recent months. Previous outbreaks have been mainly confined to parts of Africa where rodents – not monkeys – are thought to be the main animal host.

The infection causes a rash that looks a bit like chickenpox. The virus can be spread when someone is in close contact with an infected person.

It has not previously been described as a sexually transmitted infection, but it can be passed on by close contact.

Anyone with the virus should abstain from sex while they have symptoms.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK