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    Video caption: Holocaust Memorial Day: Israeli politician ends Bundestag prayer in tears

    Michael Levy wept as he recited a prayer for the dead in Germany's parliament on Holocaust Memorial Day.

  2. Denmark troops to leave Mali after row involving France

    Nicolas Negoce

    BBC News

    The French flag and France-led special operations logo for the new Task Force Takuba, a multinational military mission in sub-Saharan Africa's troubled Sahel region, with offices of European partners as Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Estonia and Denmark, at the Menaka base.
    Image caption: Soldiers from France, Denmark, Portugal, Belgium, Estonia and the Netherlands make up a task force called Takuba

    Denmark says it will start pulling its troops out of Mali after the West African country's transitional junta government this week insisted on an immediate withdrawal.

    French and European allies had previously urged Mali to let Danish troops stay, and Mali's insistence that they go is seen as a swipe against France.

    On Wednesday night, Mali's transitional government said there "was no approval for their deployment by the Malian authorities".

    "The Danish contribution will now be withdrawn from the country," the Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod confirmed on Thursday.

    Denmark had sent 105 military personnel to Mali on 18 January to join a European special forces mission, known as Takuba, that was set up to help Mali tackle Islamist militants.

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  6. Russian mercenaries offer aid to Burkinabè coup leaders

    Anne Soy

    BBC senior Africa correspondent

    An image said to be of a Wagner fighter in Libya, posted on a Telegram channel in March 2021
    Image caption: Mercenaries from the shadowy Russian Wagner group have been involved in a number of African countries

    A group of Russian military contractors has written to the coup leaders in Burkina Faso offering to train the West African country’s army in their fight against jihadists.

    The group calling itself “Community of Officers for International Security”, which is based in the Central African Republic (CAR), published its offer in a letter the BBC has seen and verified.

    It is not clear if it has been or will be accepted.

    Burkina Faso is now led by a military junta that overthrew the government of President Roch Kaboré on Monday.

    The offer in the letter is explicit: “If Russian instructors are invited to train the army in Burkina Faso, they can do it effectively.”

    The letter, which has been verified by a Russian security adviser to the CAR presidency, also takes a swipe at the French-led offensive against extremists in the Sahel.

    Despite leading the operation for over a decade, it alleges they have had "no success", and adds that the Russian group can help the Burkinabè soldiers to “master the security situation in very little time”.

    Western powers condemned the deployment of Russian mercenaries to neighbouring Mali in December, saying it could lead to a further deterioration of security.

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