The jihadist group led by Algerian Mokhtar Belmokhtar that claimed twin suicide car bombings in Niger that killed at least 20 people threatened on Friday to launch further attacks in the country.
"We will launch further operations" in Niger, the group said in a statement posted on Islamist Internet forums that also threatened France and countries involved militarily in battling Islamist extremists in Mali.Full Story
China has offered to send more than 500 soldiers to the U.N. force seeking to contain Islamist militants in Mali in what would be its biggest contribution to U.N. peacekeeping, diplomats said.
The move could be a bid to overcome tensions with the West over the Syria conflict and to strengthen Beijing's relations in Africa, where it is a major buyer of oil and other resources, diplomats and experts said.Full Story
Mali's main Tuareg separatist group said Wednesday it supported the holding of a nationwide presidential poll in July but ruled out allowing the army in its northern bastion of Kidal for the vote.
A delegation from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) held talks in Ouagadougou, the capital of neighboring Burkina Faso, with the region's lead mediator in the Malian crisis, Djibrill Bassole.Full Story
A senior operative in an al-Qaida-linked group in war-torn northern Mali has surrendered to Mauritania, a security source told Agence France Presse on Monday.
Ansar Dine spokesman Senda Ould Boumama "went to the Mauritanian armed forces on the border", near the southeastern town of Bassiknou, on Saturday evening, the source said without giving further details.Full Story
An Algerian court sentenced 14 Malian members of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) to 20 years' jail for arms smuggling and entering the country illegally, El Khabar daily reported Monday.
The Malians, who were sentenced on Sunday by the criminal court in the southern town of Ouargla, were accused of entering Algeria illegally with a shipment of weapons from Libya, the Arabic-language daily said.Full Story
The head of the EU military committee said on Saturday he was "confident" in the ability of the first Mali battalion being trained by Europe to battle the Islamist insurgency raging in the north.
General Patrick de Rousiers told reporters in the capital Bamako he had encountered "professional and extremely competent personnel" after visiting the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) in Mali.Full Story
A senior Mali army officer accused France Saturday of picking favorites among the country's warring militias after its troops attacked Arab rebels who had captured a village from armed Tuaregs.
The intervention came on Friday after the Arab Movement of Azawad (MAA) took the northern desert settlement of Anefis from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), a Malian and another African military source said.Full Story
U.N. leader Ban Ki-moon on Friday named former Dutch government minister Bert Koenders as head of the key U.N. mission in Mali where French and African troops are battling Islamist militants.
Koenders will head U.N. efforts to help Mali's interim government to re-establish control over the African state where Islamist extremists took over the north of the country for 10 months until France intervened in January.Full Story
France's first lady Valerie Trierweiler began a tour of Mali on Thursday with a visit to Gao, one of several northern cities liberated by a French-led military operation against an Islamist occupation.
President Francois Hollande's partner, on a 48-hour trip as "part of a mission for children and women", highlighted the role of female soldiers in securing the north for the former French colony as part of Operation Serval.Full Story
International donors pledged a much more than expected 3.2 billion euros in aid Wednesday to help Mali avoid the mistakes which allowed Islamist rebels to seize vast swathes of the troubled country.
The meeting, co-hosted by the European Union and France, Mali's former colonial ruler, had an initial target of two billion euros ($2.6 billion) to cover about half the cost of a 2013-14 economic and political reconstruction program agreed in cooperation with the international community.Full Story