Africa Weekly 7/2/2020: political turmoil in Malawi and Seychelles’ tourism problem | AFP

This week on Africa Weekly, we head to the perilous border zone between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, where the French army is fighting alongside the G5 Sahel forces in an attempt to eliminate the threat posed by jihadists. From there, we take a contrasting look at the beaches of the Seychelles islands, a byword for luxury holidays. But there’s trouble in paradise, as the ever increasing tourist numbers start to pose a threat to the islands’ fragile ecosystem. We also take a look at the main headlines from across the continent this week.

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Burkina Vista: Cuban music thrives in the bars of Ouagadougou | AFP

In Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, many bars book Cuban style bands to play the hits of the legendary Buena Vista social club. The crowd are often aged 60-70 years plus, but still know how to cut shapes on the dance floor. The popularity of Cuban music here dates back to the days of one-time President Thomas Sankara, a figure who sought inspiration in the revolutionary politics and music of his Cuban contemporaries.

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A round up of news and features | AFP

This week on Africa Weekly we begin in Burkina Faso in the city of Bobo-Dioulasso; once a magnet for tourists it’s now largely overlooked by Western travellers because of recurrent jihadist attacks. Then we head to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where after three years in the making, the country’s National Museum has opened its doors in the capital of Kinshasa.

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Brothers in arms: African and French armies join forces in fight against jihadism in the Sahel | AFP

In the border zone between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, French and Burkinabe soldiers march in step. Named Bourgou IV, their mission was the first official joint ground operation between the French army and the so-called G5 Sahel force, which pools troops from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. Their goal: assert control over an area where no troops had set foot for over a year. It is in this “three borders” area that 13 French soldiers lost their lives in a helicopter accident on Monday.

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Burkina Faso tourist hub loses Western visitors to jihadist threat | AFP

The city of Bobo-Dioulasso, once a magnet for tourists to Burkina Faso, is now being neglected by Western travellers due to recurrent jihadist attacks in the country. The impact has been brutal for local businesses. The city’s hotels have emptied, its heritage sites are quiet and the souvenir shops shuttered.

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Flee or die: the cruel choice in jihad-hit Burkina Faso | AFP

Djibo, a dusty town in northern Burkina Faso, has become a byword for suffering in this impoverished country’s seven-year-old struggle with jihadism, which has forced an estimated 300,000 people to flee their homes. Among them is Boureima, head of a family of 43 people — seven men, 13 women and 23 children. They abandoned their village of Gassalpalik, 70 kilometres (44 miles) from Djibo, eventually washing up in Yagma, a village about 30 kms north of the capital Ouagadougou.

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Burkina Faso: African dolls challenge barbie stereotype | AFP

In Burkina Faso, the creators of African dolls hope that their toys will resonate more with the children of the continent than the typical blue-eyed Barbie dolls. But the uncertain security situation in Burkina Faso means that sales figures are never certain.

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Nigerians disagree over legacy of a 19th century Fulani Muslim ruler | AFP

In Sokoto, an old city in northern Nigeria, Usmane Dan Fodio’s tomb attracts pilgrims from all over West Africa. For many Muslims, this scholarly and reformist Fulani is considered a saint. In 1808, he established the Caliphate of Sokoto, an Islamic state that extended from Burkina Faso to Cameroon.

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Au Nigeria, le “fantasme” d’un nouveau jihad peul | AFP

A Sokoto, vieille cité du nord du Nigeria, le tombeau d’Ousmane Dan Fodio attire des pèlerins de toute l’Afrique de l’Ouest. Pour de nombreux musulmans, ce Peul érudit et réformiste est considéré comme un saint. En 1808, Ousmane Dan Fodio avait établi le califat de Sokoto, un Etat islamique qui s’étendait du Burkina Faso au Cameroun. SUJET

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Africa Weekly – a round up of news and features | AFP

This week on Africa Weekly, we take you to Botswana where locals fear being overrun by the increasing elephant population, and we travel to Burkina Faso, where creators of African dolls hope that their toys will resonate more with the children of the continent.

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Funeral caskets of fallen French soldiers arrive at Invalides

The decorated funeral caskets of French soldiers Cédric de Pierrepont, 33, and Alain Bertoncello, 28, are carried by colleagues into the Cour d’Honneur at the Invalides national military complex in Paris. The soldiers, killed during a raid to free hostages in Burkina Faso, are honoured during a national ceremony presided over by Emmanuel Macron. IMAGES

Parisians pay tribute to troops killed in Burkina Faso raid

Parisians pay tribute to the two soldiers killed during a raid to rescue four hostages in Burkina Faso, as the funeral procession passes by the Pont Alexandre III bridge ahead of a ceremony at the Invalides led by French President Emmanuel Macron. IMAGES

Freed French hostages pay homage to soldiers killed in rescue

One of the two former French hostages released in northern Burkina Faso, Laurent Lassimouillas, pays tribute to the French soldiers killed in a rescue operation at the Presidential Palace of Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou.

Freed French hostage pays homage to soldiers killed in action

One of the two former French hostages released in northern Burkina Faso, Laurent Lassimouillas, pays tribute to the French soldiers killed in a rescue operation at the Presidential Palace of Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou. SOUNDBITE *BETTER QUALITY TO FOLLOW*

Photo of two French soldiers killed freeing hostages

Two French soldiers, Cédric de Pierrepont and Alain Bertoncello, are killed during a “complex” raid in which four hostages are freed by special forces in Burkina Faso. Both soldiers were part of the French navy’s prestigious Hubert commando. PHOTO of the two French soldiers

Photo of two French hostages freed in Burkina Faso

The two Frenchmen freed by French special forces in Burkina Faso, Patrick Picque and Laurent Lassimouillas, were kidnapped on May 1 during a tourist trip to Benin. PHOTO of the two freed French hostages

Angela Merkel begins tour of Sahel region in Burkina Faso

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is greeted by Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré in Ouagadougou. She is at the start of a tour of the Sahel region that will see her pass through Niger and Mali. IMAGES

Africa Weekly – a round up of news and features from Africa

This week on Africa Weekly, we travel to Somalia where the country’s only free ambulance service is at risk of closing down due to lack of funding and we take a look at a new doll being produced In Burkina Faso that challenges the typical blue-eyed Barbie dollsFOR SUBSCRIBERS OF AFRICA WEEKLY ONLY

Africa Weekly – a round up of news and features from Africa

This week on Africa Weekly, this week on Africa Weekly, we take you to Ghana’s Atewa Range Forest Reserve, renowned for its world-leading biodiversity, but believed to be under threat due to the presence of bauxite beneath the soil. And we travel to Burkina Faso to meet one of the strongest men in the world, Iron Biby, who says he wants to inspire young people in his home country to follow their athletic dreams.FOR SUBSCRIBERS OF AFRICA WEEKLY ONLYFOR SUBSCRIBERS OF AFRICA WEEKLY ONLY

Africa Weekly – a round up of news and features from Africa

This week on Africa Weekly, take you to Burkina Faso where female prisoners have no other choice but to keep their infants alongside them in detention and we travel to Tunisia to the southern island of Djerba where the dead face discrimination with separate cemeteries for people based on their skin colour. FOR SUBSCRIBERS OF AFRICA WEEKLY ONLYFOR SUBSCRIBERS OF AFRICA WEEKLY ONLY