Monthly Archives: January 2014

75 feared dead in yet another Boko Haram attack in Nigeria

Soldiers look at burnt motorcycles off the street in the northern Nigerian cty of Kaduna.

Suspected Islamic extremists used explosives and heavy guns to attack a village in one state and a church in another in Nigeria’s northeast, killing about 75 people and razing hundreds of homes, officials and witnesses said Monday. The attack on Kawuri village in Borno state, which killed 52 people, resulted in one of the highest death tolls in recent attacks by militants who are defying an 8-month old military state of emergency in three states in northern Nigeria designed to halt an Islamic uprising there.  The attackers set off several explosions in Kawuri after launching their assault near the village’s weekly market as vendors were packing up on Sunday night, … Continue reading

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Grave anti-press violations in Equatorial Guinea worry CPJ

Javier Blas, Africa editor for the Financial Times who was arrested and had equipment confiscated in Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea

The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by reports of grave anti-press violations in Equatorial Guinea ahead of an investment symposium planned for early February. Armed security agents arrested Javier Blas, Africa editor for the Financial Times, and Peter Chapman, a senior writer for the paper, on January 20 in the capital Malabo, Blas told CPJ. He added that the journalists were in a taxi headed to an interview with a minister at the time of the arrest. They were then taken to the Ministry of National Security, where their equipment was confiscated, and they were released after three hours. Authorities returned the journalists’ passports and mobile phones after seven hours … Continue reading

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UN set to challenge Malawi laws against homosexuality

Malawian President Joyce Banda: The homosexual bill  legislation has strained relations between her government and international donors.

The United Nations’ AIDS taskforce and human rights groups will launch a court battle against Malawi’s laws criminalizing homosexuality, in a rare challenge to rising anti-gay legislation in Africa. The legislation has strained relations between President Joyce Banda’s government and international donors, whose aid is desperately needed in the impoverished country. UNAIDS, the Malawi Law Society and local rights groups will ask the high court on March 17 to overturn as unconstitutional laws banning same-sex relationships. They will also challenge the convictions of three men jailed in 2011. Homosexuality carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years in the southern African country. “Our argument is that as long as same-sex … Continue reading

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EALA calls for immediate sessation of war in South Sudan

EALA Speaker Nantongo Zziwa wants immediate sessation of war in South Sudan

By Nkonge I Kaggwa – Kampala Uganda. The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has expressed concern over the increasing bloodshed in South Sudan saying the issue which would have been solved peacefully has escalated so much leading to thousands of innocent people both civilians and armed personnel losing their lives. Speaking to journalists ahead of the assembly sitting this morning (Tuesday) in Kampala, the Speaker Margaret Nantongo Zziwa said: “Southern Sudan and Somalia had showed interest of joining this great assembly by joining the Federation but what is happening now is alarming.” She called for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Southern Sudan to enable both parties to sit on … Continue reading

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Food shortages once again hit Karamoja District

Children-struggling-to-get-the-remaining-porridge-cooked-for-elderly-persons-in-Moroto-Municipality-on-Saturday (Photo by Steven Ariong)

By Steven Ariong Karamoja sub-region in the north-eastern Uganda is currently experiencing severe food shortages which have made several families survive on one meal a day while other families go without any meal. A three weeks survey carried out by The London Evening Post in the seven districts of Karamoja found that out of seven Karamoja districts, Abim district was the only district where families have two meals a day. This study found that the reason why Abim district is not much affected by hunger is because it was not much affected by floods compared to other districts especially Nakapirpirit, Napak, Kaabong, Kotido, Moroto and Amudat with Kaabong and Moroto being … Continue reading

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You’re partners in governance – Koroma tells country’s media

Sierra Leone President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma: "Journalists continue to be the Government’s valued partners, [and] are not under any threat and will remain his friends."

By Kamanda Joseph Sierra Leone journalists have been assured they have nothing to fear from the presidency of Dr Ernest Bai Koroma and shall remain friends with the country’s leader. During a discussion with the Sierra Leone Media and Civil society, Dr Koroma urged journalists in his country to be fully engaged with Government and share responsibilities for its development. Stressing that this critical sector of governance has a vital role to play in the government machinery, the President expressed firm commitment of his administration to continue engaging journalists in the formulation and implementation of policies.  He said the rapid growth of the country’s economy as one of the ten fastest growing in the world, has … Continue reading

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After Paris check-up, Algeria’s Bouteflika signs April vote decree

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika whose health is a major concern in the West.

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika signed a decree on Friday authorizing a formal start to campaigning for the April 17 presidential election in the major oil- and gas-producing OPEC country. Reported by the official news agency APS, the decree was Bouteflika’s first public act after he returned from a hospital visit in Paris on Thursday for what state media called health check-ups following a stroke at the start of last year. No television footage or pictures were immediately released of the 76-year-old leader, whose brief hospitalisation once again fuelled speculation about whether he himself will be able to run for re-election in April. Bouteflika is an important Western ally against militant … Continue reading

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Kenya Westgate Mall attack suspects appear in court

(L to R) Mohamed Abdi Ahmed, Omar Liban Abdulle, Adan Mohamed Ibrahim, and Hussein Hassan Mustafa appear in court in Nairobi, charged in connection with the Westgate mall massacre in September last year.

The trial of four men charged in connection with Kenya’s Westgate mall massacre opened in the Kenyan capital Nairobi yesterday (Wednesday) with the court hearing testimony from a guard who was outside the upmarket mall when the gunmen launched their attack in September last year, killing at least 67 people. Surprisingly, the men who appeared in court (photo) were not charged with carrying out the actual attack but which was claimed by Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab insurgents. They were being accused of lending support to the gunmen. The four, Adan Mohamed Abdikadir Adan, Mohamed Ahmed Abdi, Liban Abdullah Omar and Hussein Hassan Mustafah have all pleaded not guilty to charges of … Continue reading

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Nowhere to go for South Sudanese in Central African Republic

Michael Djotodia whose capture of power in Central African Republic led to more deaths and human rights violations. He stepped down last week.

By Rebecca Blackwell and Krista Larson Ibrahim Abakar sleeps with a machete at his side, terrified the darkness will bring death or disappearance as it did for his wife and young sons when armed Christian fighters showed up at their door in the capital of Central African Republic (CAR). Returning to the land of his birth isn’t an option though — South Sudan is now on the brink of civil war, mired in conflict just as the area was when he fled from there more than two decades ago. “I can’t return and I can’t stay here,” the 38-year-old Muslim said desperately. “I just want to go somewhere there is … Continue reading

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Fire leaves 105 families homeless in Nepak District

Old woman cooking next to her burnt house in Napak (photo by Steven Ariong)

By Stephen Ariong in Napak Residents of Loburapaise village in Narengmoru Parish in Ngoleriet Sub-County in Napak District in Karamoja sub-region in the north-eastern Uganda were on Sunday struggled to control a fast-moving wildfire that consumed several kilometers of the drought-stricken area. The wild fire that started at around 1pm with the strong winds burnt 105 families leaving over 1,000 people homeless. Mr Paul Apun the head of Loburapaise village said the fire got people when they were in church for prayers adding that only the old people who could not put off fire had remained at home. He said the fire burnt all the 105 granaries belonging to each … Continue reading

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