Northern Mali's population is fast dwindling as people flee desertification, drought and armed conflict only to end up in places where they face increased competition for resources.
French-backed militarisation in Mali is aimed at protecting its economic interests, and only compounds Mali's problems.
Sunday's assault by a group with suspected terror links on an army camp killed 23 soldiers, military sources said on Monday, raising an initial death toll of 21.
The eighth largest country in Africa and one of the poorest in the world, the landlocked Sahel state has been grappling with violence since 2012. It has faced a wave of violence by groups linked to Al Qaeda and Tuareg separatist rebels.
Eighteen of the 24 candidates in the election have accused the minister minister of territorial administration and decentralisation of being responsible for an "electoral robbery."
Mostly young men were killed in two attacks in northern Menaka region, which seem calculated to spark an ethnic conflict between Tuareg and Fulani herders, governor Daouda Maiga says.
A group of armed men kidnapped ENKA workers while they were travelling from the airport in the southwestern Libyan town of Ubari. Three of the employees have been identified as Turkish.
Although the attackers succeeded in mounting a lethal attack, security forces backed by French and UN troops managed to rescue 36 residents including 13 French citizens.
Six survivors walked to a remote village where they said that 44 people, mostly from Ghana and Nigeria and including three babies and two other children, died of dehydration, according to the department head for the Red Cross in the Bilma region.
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