Nigeria: Boko Haram Kill 7 in Village Raid

Officials have confirmed that jihadist terrorist group, Boko Haram, have killed at least seven people in a small village in northeast Nigeria.

The attack took place in the early hours of Wednesday morning in Mildu village, in Adamawa state.

According to witnesses, the group of heavily armed terrorists stormed the village just after midnight, and opened fire on sleeping residents.

“They stormed our village on motorbikes and immediately opened fire on the people and slaughtering people with knives [sic],” one resident told reporters.

Muhammad Yusuf, chairperson of the local council, said that seven people have been confirmed dead while ten others have been taken to a nearby hospital for injuries, thus far. He said that the death toll is likely to rise.

Yusuf also said that the terrorists set houses and shops alight, destroying many of them.

Mildu village is close to the Sambisa forest, a Boko Haram stronghold, up until recently. However, the Nigerian military announced at the end of last year that they had regained control of the area.

Nigerian military forces have significantly increased their efforts to curb Boko Haram’s insurgency over the past year.

Since their uprising started in 2009, Boko Haram has killed more than 20 000 people and have forced over three million people from their homes.

Malawi: Police Issue Warrant of Arrest for Joyce Banda

Malawi police have announced that they have issued a warrant of arrest for former president, Joyce Banda.

Banda’s warrant of arrest was issued in connection with the financial scandal, dubbed the ‘cashgate’ scandal that occurred at Capital Hill in 2014.

The scandal is considered to be the biggest financial scandal in Malawi’s history.

Several prominent Malawian politicians, business owners and civil servants were implicated in the scam, which saw more than US$32 million stolen from public office.

The British government sponsored an independent audit of the ‘cashgate’ scandal, focussing on transactions made through Malawi’s electronic financial management system. They found that the money was stolen over a six-month period, between April and September of 2013.

While Banda herself ordered the audit, it is still believed that she is guilty of abuse of office and money laundering. Others senior officials involved, all of whom were in Banda’s inner circle, have also been accused of corruption, theft and looting.

‘Cashgate’ was the reason for Joyce Banda’s removal from office in 2014, when current Malawian President, Peter Mutharika, won in the election of that year.

The scandal had severe consequences for the country, with several international aid donors pulling their aid donations of more than US$150 million following the findings of the audit.

Malawian police spokesperson, James Kadadzera, said that the warrant for Banda’s arrest will come ‘into force’ on Monday.

“Malawi fiscal and fraud police have unearthed credible evidence which raises reasonable suspicion that the former president committed offences relating to abuse of office and money laundering [sic],” he said.

Banda has been living in a ‘self-imposed’ exile since she lost the election to President Mutharika in 2014.

Egypt to Set Up New Council to Combat Terrorism

The Egyptian government has announced that they are setting up a new ‘national council’ to combat terrorism in the country.

Today, in a presidential decree, the government said that the council will fight to combat terrorism and extremism in the country by adopting a ‘global national strategy.’

Egypt’s Christian minority has been the target of several terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists over the past year. Islamic State (IS) militants have been occupying Egypt’s Sinai province in the north of the country ever since former president, Mohammed Morsi, was forced from his position by the military.

Morsi was succeeded by current president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who has promised to increase efforts in fighting the ‘war against terrorism’.

Thousands of Coptic Christians have been killed by the IS militants over the past four years. The government’s security forces have also been regular targets.

Besides attacks from groups linked to IS, Egypt has also been fighting against jihadist splinter groups. The government believes that these groups are linked to the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood – a group that Former President Morsi was a part of.

The new national council will be chaired by el-Sisi, and will include a number of prominent political, religious and military figures.

The Egyptian prime minister, parliament speaker, and a handful of other ministers will be a part of the council, alongside the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar, the highest Sunni religious authority in Egypt.

The government said that one of the primary tasks of the council will be to develop job opportunities in the areas that have been hit the hardest by extremism. They believe that by giving people legitimate jobs, they can steer them away from joining extremist groups, such as the Islamic State.

Egypt has also been in talks with the United States and US president, Donald Trump, on ways to fight terrorism in the country. The US has promised to increase their military funding to Egypt in order to help their cause.

Nigerian Government Shares New Photo of Buhari

The Nigerian government has shared a new photo of ailing president, Muhammadu Buhari, on their official Twitter account.

The photograph, which was posted on Sunday, shows a smiling Buhari meeting with several of his party members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in London.

“President @MBuhari this afternoon received a delegation of APC Governors and leaders in Abuja House, London,” the caption of the photograph read.

Buhari has been in London for medical treatment since 7 May 2017, and has not returned to Nigeria since.

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has been the acting president of the country since Buhari’s departure in May, and has denied rumours that he is preparing to take over the role permanently.

The presidency has remained silent on Buhari’s illness for months, and has dodged any kind of inquiry as to what exactly is wrong with him. They have rejected rumours that Buhari is terminally ill with cancer, and that he is in London for chemotherapy.

Upon his departure in May, Buhari said that he has “never been this ill” in his life, and that there is no specific date for his return to Nigeria.

In a follow-up tweet to the photograph on Sunday, the government said that Buhari will return to office as soon as doctors have cleared him for travel.

“The president sends his best wishes to all Nigerians. He will be back to Nigeria as soon as his doctors give the go-ahead [sic],” the tweet read.

Image credit: Buhari and governors at Abuja House in London (2017) [online image] sourced on 24 July 2017 at http://www.nigerianeye.com

Malala Yousafzai Speaks to Women in Nigeria

Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, was greeted with applause by the women in Maiduguri, in Northeast Nigeria, on Tuesday.

Malala is visiting Nigeria as part of her ‘girl power’ tour. The 20-year-old said that she has visited many parts of the world, speaking to women and girls in about their rights and about education.

Malala spoke out against the violent insurgency of Boko Haram in the country, and the hundreds of girls they have abducted. She met with over 100 of the freed Chibok girls who were abducted by the terrorist group in 2014.

“The government must unite so that they should make sure that these girls are released…Boko Haram themselves should learn that in Islam, such things are unacceptable…This is against humanity, this is against Islam [sic],” she added.

Malala, who was accompanied by her father, visited camps for those who have been displaced by Boko Haram.

Many of the girls at the camps said that Malala’s own story of resistance and perseverance inspired them.

“Her story give us hope, that’s why we too want to go to school and become something in life [sic],” one 15-year-old girl told reporters.

Malala also met with acting Nigerian president, Yemi Osinbajo, where she reportedly pressed Osinbajo to declare a state of emergency for education in the country.

According to the United Nations, over 1400 schools have been destroyed and 2295 teachers killed since the Boko Haram insurgency, which started in 2009.

This has left millions of children without education.

Malala urged the international community to address the various humanitarian crises in the country, and to unite to bring aid and relief to Nigeria.

Malala has been a symbol of freedom of education ever since she was shot in the head when she was 15 years old by Taliban militants, who targeted her because of her advocacy for women’s education.

Image credit: Malala Yousafzai in Nigeria (2017) [online image] sourced on 19 July 2017 at http://www.680news.com/2017/07/18/nobel-winner-malala-in-nigeria-speaks-out-against-boko-haram/

Senegal: 8 People Killed in Stadium Disaster

Eight people have been killed, and more than 60 injured, following a horrific disaster at the Demba Diop Stadium in Dakar on Saturday.

Rival supporters started throwing stones and other objects at each other as the Senegal Football League Cup final heated up between local teams, US Ouakam and Stade de Mbour. This eventually lead to a stampede breaking out within the stadium, resulting in the collapse of one of the stadium walls.

According to witnesses, the stadium was full the brim. The match went into overtime, with Stade de Mbour scoring a goal after the match was a 1-1 draw at 90 minutes.

At this point, US Ouakam supporters started to throw stones at Stade de Mbour supporters, which lead to a group fight.

Police in the stadium fired teargas at the supporters, which resulted in dozens of spectators rushing to vacate the stadium. The ensuing stampede caused a part of a wall to collapse, crushing people below it.

“All of a sudden when the wall fell… we knew exactly that some of our own had lost their lives because the wall fell directly onto people [sic],” a witness, Cheikh Maba Diop, said.

Senegalese Sports Minister, Matar Ba, confirmed that eight people had been killed, and at least 60 others taken to hospital. He also confirmed that one of those killed was an 8-year-old girl.

Ba promised to “[take] strong measures so that such an event will never be repeated in Senegal [sic]”.

Legislative elections are due to take place on 30 July. Many believe that the political tension in the country at the moment may have been a contributing factor to the brawl on Saturday.

A spokesperson for Senegal’s Prime Minister, Mohammed Dionne, said that all sporting and cultural activities have been suspended until the election process is complete.

Senegalese President, Macky Sall, strongly condemned the incident and said that his sympathy is with the families of the victims.

Image credit: Senegal stadium disaster (2017) [online image] sourced on 17 July 2017 at http://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/15/football/senegal-football-fan-deaths/index.html

Kenya: 5 Soldiers Killed

Five Kenyan soldiers have been killed while on an operation to rescue a kidnapped government official.

According to the Kenyan Defence Forces, Public Works Principal Secretary, Mariam El Maawy was abducted by armed men on Thursday afternoon in Lamu County in the east of the country.

After El Maawy’s abduction, the Kenyan police force launched a joint operation with the army to