Heavily armed gunmen riding motor bikes and other vehicles raided a village and killed five soldiers in Niger near the border with Mali early on Tuesday, the Interior Ministry said, amid signs of a growing Islamist insurgency in the region. Dozens of attackers entered Banigabou, about 20 km (12 miles) from the frontier before dawn – gunshots rang out for two hours, said residents. The ministry did not name the raiders, though Islamist militants based in Mali’s desert north have been pushing south toward its capital and over borders in the fragile Sahel region into Niger and Burkina Faso.
MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu) proposed a law to remove illegal building from the list of internationally immune activities, in an attempt to stop the EU’s illegal Palestinian buildings in Area C. The EU has been funding illegal Arab constructions in Area C against the signed Oslo Agreements, aiding local Arabs to slowly encroach upon land that is not theirs. Jewish Home Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s has proposed that Israel apply sovereignty over Area C and annex it. If Forer’s law passes, Israeli authorities would be able to sue the EU for illegally building Palestinian Arab structures in Area C. Forer is expected to submit his proposal in the near future.
Burkina Faso has notified the United Nations that it will withdraw soldiers deployed as peacekeepers in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region by July next year, the foreign minister said late on Friday. The West African nation, which has a battalion of 850 soldiers serving in the nearly 14,000 troop strong U.N.-African Union hybrid mission, has suffered a series of deadly attacks at home amid a rise in Islamist militant violence. Burkina Faso’s government said in May that it would seek to bring some troops home to help reinforce domestic security.
Saudi Arabia is expected to take a major role in trying to solve the Libyan crisis, inviting key players from all sides of the divide to a meeting aimed at ending it. Riyadh is still undecided, though, on the location of the meeting, a prominent source in Riyadh very close to the Saudi authorities has told. Five days ago, following talks in Washington with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, US Secretary of State John Kerry said there had been discussions on “a multinational group meeting of the main stakeholders somewhere in the next 10 to 12 days”. The aim was “to take certain key steps that could actually strengthen the ability of government to be able to serve the people of Libya”. Both the Americans and the Saudis had also agreed on the need for a united fight in Libya against the so-called Islamic State. According to the Saudi source, Riyadh now feels to become fully involved.
National Defence Minister Farhat Horchani said the security situation in the country is “stable” thanks to a continuous co-ordination between the military and security institutions. The moral of the Armed Forces is high, he stressed, adding that that they are prepared to any threat. We have made significant progress in the fight against terrorism, but risks are still there in view of the instability in the security situation in Libya. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a national conference on the military apparatus and the culture of citizenship, Horchani affirmed that Tunisia co-operates with other countries in countering terrorism. He noted, in this regard, that the presence of foreign military in Tunisia is part of sharing expertise. The minister denied the presence of military bases in Tunisia.