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Mali's Main Tuareg-led Rebels to Sign Peace Deal June 20

The head of Mali's main Tuareg-led rebel groups said on Friday that his movement will sign a final deal to end the conflict in the west African nation on June 20.

The Coordination of Azawad Movements headed by Bilal Ag Cherif initialed a peace agreement with the Malian government in Algiers on May 14 but held out on a final deal until some changes were made.

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Kenya Fight against Shebab Shifts to its Own Backyard

From hit and run attacks and massacres to a shopping trip, Somali-led Shebab militants are on the march in northeastern Kenya.

With large numbers of troops in southern Somalia but seemingly unable to effectively police its own outer regions, Kenya must react quickly to stop the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamists from gaining significant ground and finding a new generation of recruits, Western security officials say.

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Mauritanian Agency: AQIM Islamists Claim Two Attacks against U.N. in Mali

Al-Qaida's North Africa arm has claimed responsibility for two attacks against the United Nation's MINUSMA peacekeeping mission in Mali this week, the Mauritanian Al-Akhbar news agency reported Sunday.

Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said it was behind a "rocket attack on a MINUSMA base" in northern Mali on Monday and a landmine explosion Thursday targeting a U.N. convoy in the restive north, according to al-Akhbar, citing AQIM spokesman Abderrahmane Al-Azawadi.

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Head of Mali's Main Tuareg-led Rebels Hopeful on Peace Deal

The head of Mali's main Tuareg-led rebel groups on Sunday said he was convinced that consultations underway in Algeria to finalize a peace agreement with the Bamako government would bear fruit.

"We remain convinced that efforts and discussions underway in Algeria will be successful," said Bilal Ag Cherif, who heads the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA), the APS news agency reported.

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French Soldiers Stalked by Invisible Enemy in Mali

Based in Mali's inhospitable northern desert, French troops are waging an attritional campaign against a ghost-like, invisible enemy -- a master in the guerrilla art of hit-and-run.

More than two years after the French-led Operation Serval routed jihadists advancing on the capital Bamako, armed groups in the area are no longer able to carry out coordinated attacks.

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Three Wounded as U.N. Convoy Triggers Landmines in Mali

Three United Nations troops were wounded on Thursday when a convoy including the head of peacekeeping in Mali triggered landmines in the country's restive north, sources within the force said.

MINUSMA commander Major General Michael Lollesgaard and the mission's police chief "escaped death on Thursday in the Timbuktu region when mines on the route of their convoy wounded three peacekeepers from Burkina Faso," a civilian manager in the force told AFP.

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Bangladeshi U.N. Peacekeeper Shot Dead in Mali's Capital

A Bangladeshi peacekeeper was shot dead and another wounded, the United Nations said Tuesday, in the second attack in days in Mali's capital on what is considered the world's most dangerous U.N. mission.

A statement from MINUSMA, the U.N.'s peacekeeping force in Mali, said "an incident" involving one of its vehicles took place in the area of Bamako airport.

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Militants Kill Bangladeshi U.N. Peacekeeper in Mali's Capital

Militants opened fire on two Bangladeshi peacekeepers in Mali's Bamako on Monday, killing one, the second attack within days in the capital of what is considered the most dangerous U.N. mission in the world.

One of the peacekeepers, both ranked as privates, died on the scene and the other was rushed immediately to hospital with bullet wounds after the ambush on their SUV, Bangladesh army spokesman Nur Islam said Tuesday.

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Activists Denounce Africa's Silence over Migrant Drownings

Despite cries of alarm from European politicians over the deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean, African leaders have been silent over an issue they fear underlines their weak governance, say campaigners.

For years Libya has been a stepping stone for Africans seeking to get to Europe, fleeing conflict, economic hardship and instability often in rickety, unseaworthy vessels.

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Civilians Killed as Armed Groups Clash in Northern Mali

Up to nine civilians, including an aid worker for a European charity, were killed after rebels withdrew from a village they had seized in northern Mali, armed loyalist and anti-government groups said on Friday.

The west African nation's main Tuareg-led rebel alliance, the Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA), said in a statement overnight that "the Malian army conducted the summary and public executions of nine people in the town of Tin Hama" on Thursday.

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