Lefah Ballo with his partner, Caitríona Rodgerson, and their daughter, Nina, in Churchtown, Dublin. The couple met in Africa in 2012. Photograph: Eric Luke

The music of Jingle Bells will always remind Ibrahim Ballo of the first day he stepped on to Irish soil. It was December 2nd, 2012, and Ballo, know(...)

Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an Algerian militant leader reported to have been killed in an American airstrike, is alive and well according to al-Qaeda. Photograph: FBI/The New York Times.

Al-Qaeda’s North Africa branch has denied reports that Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a major figure in insurgencies across North Africa and th(...)

French president Francois Hollande speaks to journalists upon his arrival in Algiers. Paris and Algiers are enjoying a period of exceptionally good relations. Photograph: Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

The leaders of France and Algeria doubtless rejoiced in the reported killing of Algerian jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar when they met in president Abdela(...)

Security officers stand at the site of a suicide bombing in Ndjamena, Chad. At least 27 people have been killed in two suspected attacks by Boko Haram in  Chad’s capital. Photograph: Moumine Ngarmbassa/Reuters

At least 27 people, including four suspected Boko Haram Islamist militants, were killed and 100 others injured in two attacks in Chad’s capital, N’Dja(...)

Emily Dickinson: Miss Emily by Nuala Ní Chonchúir, above, (August, Sandstone) looks at the life of the famously reclusive poet through the eyes of 18-year-old Ada Concannon, her Irish maid. Photograph: Emilia Krysztofiak

Things We Have in Common, Tasha Kavanagh (May, Canongate) Yasmin Laksaris is the obese teenage narrator of the English author Tasha Kavanagh’s (...)

A  handout picture taken on Sunday  and released by the MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) shows migrants waiting aboard a wooden boat during a rescue operation in partnership with Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF) off the coast of Sicily in the Mediterranean sea. Photograph: AFP 1:20

Nearly 5,800 migrants were plucked from boats off the coast of Libya and 10 bodies were recovered in less than 48 hours, Italy’s coast guard said, in (...)

Surviving immigrants lie on the deck of Italian coastguard ship Bruno Gregoretti in Senglea, in Valletta’s Grand Harbour on Monday,  April 20th, 2015. Some  700 migrants were feared dead after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean. Photograph:  REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Last September, photographer Frank Miller and I spent a week in Sicily reporting for The Irish Times on the story of Mediterranean boat migration. We (...)

A Red Cross worker with an African migrant after his arrival by sea in Ceuta. Photograph: The Red Cross

Germinal Castillo pulls out his mobile phone and finds a photograph on it. It is of a group of sub-Saharan Africans inside a tiny inflatable boat, wit(...)

 Sjaak Rijke, who was kidnapped in Timbuktu in November 2011, was freed on Monday during a special operation and had been transferred “safe and sound” to a temporary base in Tessalit, north-east Mali. Photograph: Ho/Al Jazeera/ AFP Photo

French forces have freed a Dutch man held hostage in Mali since 2011 by al Qaeda’s north African arm, the French defence ministry said.It said Sjaak R(...)

A man walks past an Ebola awareness painting on a wall in downtown Monrovia, Liberia. One year has passed since the declaration of what has become the largest Ebola outbreak in history, with more than 10,000 deaths. Photograph: Ahmed Jallanzo/EPA

One year has passed since the declaration of what has become the largest Ebola outbreak in history, with more than 10,000 deaths. The virus escaped co(...)