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US Ansarullah sanctions

Yemen’s Ansarullah movement has denounced new US sanctions against the group as a new crime against the Yemeni nation. A member of the Supreme Political Council of Yemen said the United States is putting the war option as its first priority while pretending to seek peace. Mohammed Ali al-Houthi said imposing sanctions to bring peace will lead to nowhere. He stressed that the new measures are an extension to a systematic plan aimed at destroying Yemen’s economy. The US announced its new sanctions against Ansarullah on Thursday. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US will continue to exert pressure on Ansarullah to make it end their offensive in Marib. Ansarullah and its allied army units are engaged in a battle to liberate the city from Saudi-backed forces.

France Africa drawdown

France has announced a drawdown of its military operations against militants in the Sahel region of Africa. Macron said France's operations in West Africa would come to an end and be merged into a broader international mission. France currently has 5,100 troops in the Sahel region that encompasses several African countries including Mali. The presence of French forces in the Sahel is rejected by some politicians and locals as a colonial throwback. In January, Malians protested in the capital Bamako against France’s military presence in their country. Thousands of soldiers and civilians have died in the Sahel conflict over the past years. More than two million people have been displaced. 

Covid-19 vaccination drive 

International charity group, Oxfam, has criticized the group of seven rich countries for their poor contribution to efforts to inoculate the world against Covid. G7 members are set to begin a three-day summit on Friday. They are expected to agree to donate one billion Covid vaccine doses to poorer countries. That’s according to the UK government. Now, Oxfam and other campaign groups have condemned the plan as a drop in the ocean. Oxfam says, the summit will be a failure, if the best G7 leaders can manage, is to donate one billion doses. It says the world would need eleven billion doses to end the pandemic. Oxfam has also called on G7 leaders to support a waiver on the intellectual property behind the vaccines.

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