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Mali Junta Slams West African Border Closures, Trade Embargo

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Mali Junta Slams West African Border Closures, Trade Embargo

Mali’s military regime on Monday strongly condemned West African sanctions including border closures and a trade embargo over delays to a return to civilian rule, saying regional leaders were allowing themselves to be “exploited” by foreign powers.

The junta also announced the recall of its ambassadors and the closure of its borders in a tit-for-tat move.

The leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) meeting on Sunday agreed to cut financial aid and freeze Mali’s assets at the Central Bank of West African States, according to a final declaration.

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They also decided to recall their ambassadors to Mali during the unusual closed-door gathering in Ghana.

A proposal by Mali’s military rulers to hold elections in December 2026 “simply means that an illegitimate military transition government will take the Malian people hostage during the next five years”, said ECOWAS.

The meeting followed months of increasing tensions over the schedule for restoring civilian rule in Mali after two coups and a military takeover. ECOWAS insisted that Mali hold elections in February.

Read Also: Nigeria Will Strengthen Bilateral Ties with South Africa Says Foreign Minister

 

Coup: ECOWAS Suspends Guinea’s Membership, Mission to Visit Conakry

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Entertainment

Netflix Denied Motion to Dismiss Defamation Case

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Author: Eunice Johnson, Abuja

Netflix must answer a defamation case over its hit series The Queen’s Gambit, a US judge has ruled. The streaming giant is accused of misrepresenting “one of the most significant career achievements” of chess master Nona Gaprindashvili.

 

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Lawyers said the error had “tarnished (her) personal and professional reputation” around the world. The Queen’s Gambit, starring Anya Taylor-Joy is the fictional story of the female chess prodigy, Beth Harmon. However, it features references to real life competitors including Gaprindashvili.

In the final episode, a commentator compares Harmon’s achievements to Gaprindashvili’s, but says the latter “never faced men” in competition.

Netflix said that “no reasonable viewer would have understood the line to convey a statement of fact”, according to legal documents seen by PA, as it was an “entirely fictional work”.

It added the show’s millions of viewers would require “knowledge of competitive Soviet chess in the 1960s” to understand the alleged defamation.

 

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Foreign

US Pledges To Support Nigeria’s Fight Against Modern-Day Slavery

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Author: Eunice Johnson, Abuja

The United States’ government has pledged to support Nigeria in its efforts to combat modern-day slavery and all forms of human trafficking and smuggling.

 

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Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Kathleen FlitzGibbon, said this Thursday, at an event organised to commemorate the 2022 National Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

The event, with the theme “Improving awareness on Human Trafficking and increasing Reportage of Cases’, held in collaboration with the DEVATOP Center for African Development.

According to FlitzGibbon, human trafficking has taken various forms and is also known as modern-day slavery which requires collaborative efforts to effectively tackle.

 

Read Also: President Buhari to Attend Investment Summit in Saudi Arabia

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Foreign

Rwanda To Reopen Uganda Land Border After Three-Year Closure

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Author: Eunice Johnson, Abuja

Rwanda said Friday it will reopen its land border with Uganda at the end of the month after a three-year closure, a major breakthrough in efforts to repair ties between the neighbors.

 

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The move follows a visit to Kigali last weekend by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s son Muhoozi Kainerugaba, during which he and Rwandan President Paul Kagame pledged to restore relations.

The border between the two East African nations was closed in February 2019 as political tensions between Kigali and Kampala rose, devastating two-way trade.

Rwanda’s foreign ministry said in a statement that the main Gatuna border post, known as Katuna in Uganda, would reopen on January 31.

 

Read Also: U.S Begins Deportation of Haitian Migrants from Texas Border Camp

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