France agreed to withdraw its troops from former colony Burkina Faso in keeping with the demands of the military junta ruling the West African country. France continues to have special forces in Burkina as part of a greater anti-terror effort — called Operation Barkhane — across Chad, Mali, Niger, Mauritania and Burkina Faso. Burkina has been battling insurgency since 2015 and even now jihadists control 40 per cent of its territory. Reportedly, the failure of the French forces in stopping the jihadist violence and Russia’s increasing presence in the region are behind the French exit. Burkina gained complete independence in 1960.
Rohith Vemula would have turned 34. Instead, the 26-yearold who was a doctoral candidate at the University of Hyderabad was found hanging exactly seven years ago, days after he and four others were suspended over caste-based politics. Vemula’s goodbye note read — “Behave like I just appeared and gone. Do not shed tears for me. Know that I am happy dead than being alive.”