KW 15: No clear winner in Mali’s election, EU countries participate in Irini mission, Turkey and United States stress need for Syria, Libya ceasefires

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No clear winner in Mali’s election: The parliamentary election in Mali saw no clear winner. An absolute majority is required for the 147 mandates in parliament, but only 17 candidates were able to get enough votes in their constituency in the first round. The election is headed for a second round in many places across the country. Voter turnout was extremely low at only 36 percent. The main reason is the poor security situation in Mali. Opposition leader Soumaïla Cisse, who was kidnapped shortly before the election, remains in captivity.

EU countries participate in Irini mission: The EU is stepping up its efforts to enforce the United Nations arms embargo on Libya through the launch of the “Irini” military operation in the Mediterranean Sea. Several EU countries plan on participating in the mission. France, Italy and Greece are contributing warships to enforce the arms embargo. Italy, Greece, Poland, Luxembourg and Germany will help out with airplanes and drones. Despite a ceasefire in Libya, heavy fighting continues between General Khalifa Haftar, Libya’s eastern military commander, and the internationally recognized government of Libya.

Virtual safari in South Africa: Kenya-born Joss Kent has made it his business to offer luxury journeys through Africa, but his business has taken a hit since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, Kent has started a digital service that allows interested parties to take live stream-journeys through the “andBeyond Ngala Game Reserve” in South Africa twice a day. As part of the trip, customers get information on special characteristics of the area and the daily routines of the rangers in the reserve. A total of 2038 people work for “andBeyond”. The company works closely with local companies and supports small businesses with half of its income.

Support for Africa’s small business owners in the coronavirus crisis: Countries and organizations on the African continent are currently working on aid programs for economies affected by the coronavirus. Africa’s economy relies on small businesses, which make up around 95 percent of all companies. But these small businesses are particularly hard-hit by the pandemic. South Africa has set up a fund to collect donations from the richest South Africans as well as the government in order to help them. The country’s government is also working on a debt relief plan for small companies. Nigeria is offering 125 million euros in aid to companies affected by the pandemic. The African Development Bank has set up a “social bond” worth over 3 billion euros. The International Monetary Fund wants to support developing and emerging countries with 46 billion euros.

Turkey and United States stress need for Syria, Libya ceasefires: US President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have underlined the need for ceasefires in Syria and Libya during the pandemic, the White House said. The two spoke by phone on efforts to defeat the coronavirus and bolster the global economy. They agreed it was more important now than ever for countries in conflict, particularly Syria and Libya, to adhere to ceasefires and work toward resolution. Syria’s government has so far reported only a handful of virus cases, but health experts warn that the country is especially vulnerable to the virus. Syria’s health care system is severely weakened due to the ongoing civil war. According to the World Health Organization, only 64 percent of the country’s hospitals are still in operation.,

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African countries impose entry bans: Many African countries have imposed entry bans on visitors from Europe and the United States, including Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda. The measures were imposed because the coronavirus was carried to Africa primarily by people from Western countries. Sentiment towards foreigners appears to be worsening in some countries. In Ghana, visitors have reported that people shouted “Corona go home” at them.

Hirak protest movement in Algeria: The Algerian Hirak protest movement is taking break – at least on the streets – due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. The Hirak began in February 2019 when Algerians protested en masse to demand that then-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika renounce plans to run for a fifth term. After forcing Bouteflika’s resignation in April, the movement continued to stage massive demonstrations every Friday, calling for a more democratic system of government. The Hirak demonstrations continued weekly until the authorities banned all demonstrations over the pandemic, and the Hirak announced it would suspend its rallies. According to the National Committee for the Liberation of Detainees, at least 173 people remain on trial for participating in Hirak protests or covering them.

Locust plague and coronavirus hit East Africa: The United Nations has warned that coronavirus-linked flight restrictions are hampering efforts to wipe out locust swarms on the verge of devastating crops in eastern Africa. The spreading of the virus has forced governments to close their borders, reducing cargo flights and disrupting global supply chains, including the production of pesticides in Europe and Asia. The first invasion that terrorized farmers in a region where 20 million people struggle for food has given birth to a second wave of insects just as new-season crops are being planted. Kelvin Shingles from the German World Hunger Help is concerned about massive crop failures: “The locust infestation will have a devastating effect on harvests, livestock farming and, of course, food supply if suitable action isn’t taken soon.,


Chinese internet entrepreneur Jack Ma has donated 1.5 million coronavirus tests to African countries. Many other organizations are also supporting Africa in coping with the crisis.


“I am very concerned that there will be riots, even civil wars, in fragile countries.”
German Development Minister Gerd Müller has talked about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on African countries.


60 years of independence in Senegal: Senegal marked 60 years of independence on Saturday and its achievements since are worth celebrating. Due to the democratic change of power and its multi-party system, Senegal is considered politically stable in the region and a role model for other countries. But the independence ceremony has been postponed to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

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