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.
They also decided to recall their ambassadors to Mali during the extraordinary 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.
Responding with a statement read on national television Monday, the junta’s spokesman Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga said it “strongly condemned these illegal and illegitimate sanctions”.
The junta said the measures would “affect populations already severely affected by the security crisis and the health crisis” but added that it had made arrangements to ensure normal supplies “by all appropriate means”.
The meeting followed months of increasing tensions over the timetable for restoring civilian rule in Mali after two coups and a military takeover.
The new sanctions are even tougher than those imposed after the first putsch in August 2020, which are believed to have forced the junta at the time to agree to returning power to civilians within 18 months of elections.
The current military regime says it is not able to organise elections as planned at the end of February, citing the security situation in the country.
Since first coup in which army officers led by Colonel Assimi Goita toppled the elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, ECOWAS has pushed for a return to civilian rule as soon as possible.
Under threat of sanctions, Goita promised to restore civilian rule in February 2022 after holding presidential and legislative elections.
But he staged a second coup in May 2021, forcing out an interim civilian government, disrupting the reform timetable, and provoking widespread diplomatic condemnation.
ECOWAS insisted that Mali hold elections in February.
But the junta then said it would set an election date only after holding a nationwide conference, arguing a peaceful vote was more important than speed.
‘It’s a joke’
The junta sent two ministers to Accra on Saturday to submit a new proposed timetable.
The move was intended “to maintain dialogue and good cooperation with ECOWAS”, said Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop, without elaborating.
“Mali’s counter-proposal is for a four-year transition,” said a senior official from Ghana, which holds the ECOWAS chair. “It’s a joke.”
The 15-nation bloc has led the push for the former French colony to honour its commitment to stage elections early this year.
The bloc’s push to ensure a return to civilian rule has put its credibility on the line as it seeks to uphold fundamental principles of governance and contain regional instability.
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Doctors Stunned To Discover Steel Cup In Drunk Man’s Stomach
Doctors in India were stunned when they were tasked with removing a steel cup from a man’s stomach — which they believe was initially inserted into his rectum.
An unnamed man from the Maharajganj district was reporting stomach pains for several days and no treatment seemed to work, despite seeing multiple physicians.
He then saw Dr. Lal Bahadur Siddharth of the Siddharth hospital in Jaunpur, who did an X-ray and discovered the cup inside him.
The patient was rushed to surgery on Aug. 6 where doctors successfully removed a cup the size of a hand from what appears to be an incision in his stomach.
A 73-second video shows the procedure which begins with one doctor cleaning the stomach area before carefully removing the silver cup with the bottom of the object facing up.
Medical staff appears to be in disbelief as the surgeon holds up the tumbler for the camera.
A doctor holding a steel cup
The doctor was able to successfully remove the cup.
The man, who works as a laborer, has recovered well, according to Jam Press.
The medical professionals have hypothesized that the cup reached his stomach after being inserted up the man’s anus.
Doctors said the man got extremely drunk with three strangers after returning from a grocery store, where he had gone to get vegetables.
By the time he sobered up, the unknown people were not present, and doctors aren’t sure if the man shoved the cup up his rectum himself or if he was assaulted.
This incident is surprisingly not uncommon, according to the Clinical Case Reports Journal, as similar cases have been reported in men, ages 30 to 40, from around the world .
In Iran, one man had a plastic water bottle removed from inside his anus, while a Florida man had to have a screwdriver surgically removed from his rectum.
704 total views, 100 views today
Biden Out Of Isolation After Testing Negative For COVID-19
US President Joe Biden was out of isolation on Sunday, after testing negative for Covid for a second day in a row, the first time he was able to leave the White House since July 20.
Biden, 79, had tested positive for Covid and returned to isolation on July 30, in a result doctors attributed to “rebound” positivity from his earlier bout of the illness.
“I’m feeling good,” the smiling president told pool reporters at the White House as he boarded a helicopter which then flew him to his beach home in Delaware.
He was also optimistic about a sweeping climate and health care bill that was being debated in the Senate overnight Sunday, telling reporters: “I think it’s going to pass.”
The president “will safely return to public engagement and presidential travel,” his physician Kevin O’Connor said in a statement announcing the negative test.
According to Biden’s official schedule he is set to travel to the southern state of Kentucky, the scene of devastating floods, on Monday.
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U.S. Drone Strike In Kabul Kills Top Qaeda Leader, Ayman al-Zawahri
A US drone strike in Afghanistan has killed Osama bin Laden’s successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who became the leader of al-Qaeda following the killing of Osama Bin Laden in May 2011.
Confirming the report, President Joe Biden of the US described the death of al-Zawahiri, Osama Bin Laden’s deputy, as a huge blow to the Al Qaeda terrorist network, masterminds of the September 11 2001 attacks on US.
Al-Zawahiri, who is said to be one of the world’s most deadliest terrorists, is an Egyptian surgeon with a $25m bounty on his head for helping to mastermind the 9/11 attacks in which four civilian aircrafts were hijacked and used to crush the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, the Pentagon near Washington and a Pennsylvania field, killing about 3,000 people.
According to White House officials, Al-Zawahiri was spotted on a balcony on numerous occasions after he moved into a safe house with his family in downtown Kabul, where he continued to produce al-Qaida propaganda videos for several months before he met his waterloo.
President Biden was said to have ordered the attack on the safe house at a meeting of key cabinet members and national security officials on 25 July, having ensured that every step had been taken to ensure the operation would minimize risk and casualties.
“Two Hellfire missiles were fired at Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was killed. We are confident through our intelligence sources and methods, including multiple streams of intelligence, that we killed al-Zawahiri and no other individual,” a Whitehouse official noted.
The official explained that though al-Zawahiri’s family members were present in the safe house during the strike, they were not targeted nor harmed.
“We have no indications that civilians were harmed in the strike. We took every possible precaution to avoid civilian harm,” the official further noted.
Barack Obama, Monday night, in his reaction to the development said: “We make it clear again tonight that no matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out. We will never forget. We continue to mourn every innocent life that was stolen on 9/11 and honor their memories.”
2,684 total views, 94 views today
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