Germany is planning a major boost to the number of troops it deploys in the crisis-hit West African state of Mali and to extend its involvement in the international fight against the Islamic State extremist group in northern Iraq.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived Monday in Niger for the second leg of a three-day Africa tour, during which she has stressed the need for more security and better living conditions on the continent to slow migration to Europe.
The International Criminal Court has sentenced a former Islamist militant leader to nine years in prison for overseeing the destruction of the World Heritage Site of Timbuktu in the West African nation of Mali.
The destruction of several ancient mausoleums in the historic city of Timbuktu by rebel groups in 2012 caused worldwide outcry. Now, the suspected planner - an Islamist insurgent - will stand trial for war crimes at The Hague.
The UN Security Council authorized the deployment of 2,000 additional peacekeepers and almost 500 new police troops to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali on Wednesday in response to the country's volatile security situation.
Riddled with terrorists groups, northern Mali is the United Nation’s most dangerous operation in Africa. A UN peacekeeping force is tasked with preventing attacks and identifying dangerous militant networks.