12 Dead As Fishermen, Herders Clash In Cameroon

A map of Cameroon, a Central African country of varied terrain and wildlife


Twelve people have been killed and 48 wounded in clashes between fishermen and herders in northern Cameroon, the region’s governor said on Thursday.

The violence, which is rare between the two communities, erupted on Tuesday in Logone-Birni in the Far North region, a tongue of land wedged between Nigeria to the west and Chad to the east.

“Everything started from a banal incident,” the governor, Midjiyawa Bakari, said on the state radio channel CTRV.

It began when members of the Musgum community erected dams to divert water to help them catch fish, in a location where ethnic Arab Choa herders also take their cattle for watering, he said.

“A row broke out between two individuals” which degenerated into full-fledged violence, he said.

“We have provisionally recorded 12 dead and 48 wounded, who have been hospitalised in Kousseri… and N’Djamena,” the capital of Chad, he said.

A local official told AFP that the belligerents used machetes, knives and bows and arrows.

“The tension hasn’t fully subsided. Several houses have been burned down,” the source said, asking not to be identified.

The two communities had asked the authorities to intervene to define areas that they can each use without harming the other, he said.

Clashes between ethnic groups are rare in Cameroon but are frequent in Chad and Nigeria, particularly between sedentary farmers and semi-nomadic herders.

Twenty-two people were killed and 18 were wounded on Saturday in Hadjer-Lamis province in central Chad.

Cameroon’s Far North is also struggling with cross-border attacks by jihadists from northeastern Nigeria.


17 Fishermen Feared Dead After Trawler Sinks In Freezing Arctic Waters

Mission 2018: Bring The Paris Climate Pact To Life
This handout image obtained via the Nature Publishing website on April 24, 2018, shows melt ponds on the Arctic sea ice in the Central Arctic. PHOTO: Stefan HENDRICKS / Alfred Wegener Institut / NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP / AFP


Seventeen fishermen were missing and feared dead on Monday after a Russian trawler capsized during a storm and sank in the freezing waters of the Barents Sea.

Officials said that two people had been rescued by a passing vessel, but hopes were quickly fading that more survivors could be found during a snowstorm over the Arctic waters.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday expressed “deep condolences” to the families of the victims and offered “words of support” for the survivors.

“It is with sorrow that I learnt of the tragedy,” Putin said in a statement released by the Kremlin.

Speaking at a government meeting earlier in the day, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin tasked officials with providing relatives of the victims with necessary help.

“A tragedy struck today in the Barents Sea,” Mishustin said. “People died,” he added, without providing further details.

Officials said that a search-and-rescue operation was underway but that poor weather conditions had complicated the task.

“There is a heavy snowstorm, waves are up to four meters high and temperatures are at around 20-25 degrees Celsius below zero,” Alexei Barinov, spokesman for the emergencies ministry in the northwestern region of Murmansk, told AFP.

“We are hoping for a New Year’s miracle,” he added.

However, a source familiar with the details of the search efforts told AFP that there was little hope of finding survivors.

“A person cannot last for more than 15 minutes in these conditions,” the source said.

The privately-owned boat sank near the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Barents Sea at around 6:20 am (0330 GMT), said Ruslan Nazarov, head of the emergencies ministry’s Murmansk branch.

Ten minutes later a passing vessel rescued two fishermen, Nazarov told reporters.

Officials believe the Russian-flagged vessel, which had been operating since 1979, capsized after ice buildup caused it to tilt over.

– ‘Instantly capsized’ –

The disaster struck when the crew was hauling out a net with the catch, said the spokesman for the maritime and river transport agency Rosmorrechflot, Alexei Kravchenko.

“The vessel lost its balance and instantly capsized,” he told AFP.

Three vessels and an Il-38 maritime patrol plane were dispatched to the scene, officials said.

Kravchenko said that not a single body had so far been found even though the two survivors had seen a crew member die in front of them.

Maritime accidents are fairly common in Russia.

In April 2015, a Russian trawler sank in the Okhotsk Sea off Kamchatka. Of the 132 people on board the Dalniy Vostok, just 63 were rescued.

In December 2011, a drilling rig capsized and sank off Sakhalin Island during a storm. More than 50 people were killed or went missing.


Norway Threatens To Shut Out EU, UK fishermen If Brexit Deal Not Signed

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 12, 2020, Newhaven fishing boat skipper Neil Whitney (R) and deckhand Nathan Harman (L) sort fish aboard the Newhaven fishing boat ‘About Time’ after the first trawl of the day, off the south-east coast of England. 


Norway said Friday it would close its waters to fishing boats from both the European Union and Britain if a deal cannot be signed between the three parties by January 1.

Non-EU member Norway has had a fishing deal with the bloc in place since 1980, but the terms must be renegotiated following Britain’s departure.

“Talks with the EU and Great Britain on a 2021 fishing deal have been seriously held up because of the delay in Brexit negotiations between those two (parties), and fishing’s place in them,” fishing minister Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen told lawmakers in Oslo


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“It’s not a given that negotiations will be finished by the end of the year. If we don’t have a deal by January 1, we won’t open Norway’s economic zone to fishing boats from the EU and Great Britain,” he said.

The deal between Norway and the EU sees the two sides grant reciprocal access to their fishing waters.

In September, Norway and Britain announced a bilateral deal calling for annual talks on quotas.

Ingebrigtsen said that Oslo and Brussels have agreed to open talks next year aimed at a similar pact.

“We’ve been telling the EU for a long time that we needed a three-way deal, and the ball is therefore now in the EU’s court,” he added.

Without a deal, Norwegian boats will also be shut out from EU waters.

Norway’s own economic zone is home to important stocks of species like cod and herring, with some of the quotas until now allotted to European fishermen.


India Flood: Ignored Fishermen Praised As ‘Biggest Heroes’

Michael Solomon (R), 56, and Manoj Francis, 40, fishermen from Kollam who took part in recent rescue operations in the floods that devastated the south Indian state of Kerala, stand near a boat that was damaged during the rescue, on August 22, 2018. MANJUNATH KIRAN / AFP


They carried their boats onto trucks to get there and braved the filthy, swirling waters before most other rescuers arrived. Now hundreds of fishermen are being hailed as the heroes of India’s Kerala floods crisis.

One man got on all fours with his face in the water so women could step on his back to board a rescue boat. Others had to suffer abuse from people angry because the official rescuers took so long.

India‘s Tourism Minister K.J Alphons has called the fishermen the “biggest heroes” of Kerala’s disaster and state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has announced a cash reward for each of them and a ceremony to pay tribute.

Robin Richard and other fishermen from ports like Kollam are suspicious. Their community is disparaged by many in Kerala. Now they just hope the authorities keep their promise to pay for damage to boats and the fuel they used to rescue several thousand people.

“When we suffered in a cyclone last year no one took notice of our plight but now everyone’s attitude has suddenly changed,” Richard, 42, told AFP.

Hundreds of traditional wood and fiber boats left Kollam, a tourist destination on the Kerala coast, after appeals for help were made on Wednesday last week, Richard said.

They were pressed into service in some of the worst flood zones of Kerala, where about 420 people overall have died in monsoon rain in recent weeks.

Praise and abuse 

“At least 150 fishing crews were working non-stop here at the peak of rescue operations,” an official in Alappuzha district, one of the worst-hit, told AFP.

Michael Solomon, 56, a Kollam fisherman for almost four decades, told how he and colleagues lifted their six-meter-long (20 feet) boats up onto a road to be loaded on trucks and taken to flood zones.

“We have been going into the real sea since we were children, so these waters were nothing,” he said. But many boats suffered damage after hitting cars and other obstacles on flooded roads. Some crashed into houses.

“I hope the government keeps its word and gets the boats repaired. An operational boat is our only source of livelihood,” he added.

Manoj Francis, 40, who works with Solomon at Kollam beach, said he had been shocked when he first saw the flooded houses.

“There was extensive damage. People were at the top of their houses and at many places entire buildings were under water,” he told AFP.

The flooded villages and towns became a vast maze and the fishermen often operated alone for hours on end.

They have been widely hailed on social media. “We call them ‘fisherman’ but they are ‘Supermen’,” wrote Rajiv B. Menon on Twitter.

“Some of them travelled 120kms to Chengannur to save lives of people stranded, facing death, due to the deluge. Take a bow,” he added.

Many rescued families have told how the fishing flotilla reached them before any official help.

“They arrived like saviours. No local government officials came to us or gave us any warnings before that,” said Ravindran Achary, the 62-year-old head of a nine-member family, now living with other floodrefugees at the Union Christian College in Kochi.

He said the group, which includes five small grandchildren, only escaped their house because a fishing boat arrived out of the blue in their urban neighbourhood in Kochi.

Despite the praise and attention, some fishermen said they were not universally welcomed.

“While most people were generally happy to see us some of them were understandably angry and agitated,” Richard said.

“I think some of it was taken out on us. Some of us were abused, with people complaining why it took so long,” he added.

Richard, Manoj and Solomon hope the government and Kerala’s people do not forget their efforts as water levels fall and life slowly returns to normal.


Egypt’s Shrinking ‘Pharaonic Sea’ Has Fishermen Worried

Egyptian Fishermen unload the daily catch from the Pharaonic Sea, in the village of Kafr Fisha, province of Munuf, on June 16, 2018. MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP


Egypt’s shrinking freshwater “Pharaonic Sea” has residents in its nearly 50 surrounding fishing villages worried.

The thin 10,000-square kilometre stretch of water just north of the capital was once part of the Nile River, but shrivelling shorelines have left it separated from the country’s main water source for nearly 50 years.

Since then, inhabitants in the surrounding villages have referred to it as the “dead sea”.

And while its surrounding lush vegetation remains, the sea’s steadily declining water levels have fishermen on edge.

The worry has fuelled anxious meetings regularly held by fishermen.

An Egyptian Fisherman handles a net on his boat in the waters of the Pharaonic Sea in the village of Kafr Fisha, province of Munuf, on June 16, 2018. MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP


In the village of Kafr Fisha, families live in rhythm with the sea in houses built along the water’s edge.

Like dozens of other fishermen, Sherif, 41, and Khaled, 55, are out of the house and onto the water before dawn.

They spend their day on a tiny wooden boat, casting handmade nets into the sea’s brownish green waters.

Dressed in jeans and a sleeveless shirt under the hot summer sun, Sherif carefully frees fish from the nets, placing each one into a small plastic crate.

As the sun begins to dip below the horizon, Khaled sits at the water’s edge and prepares a traditional Egyptian salad that will accompany their dinner of fresh grilled catch.

They make tea as night falls, lying on the ground and enjoying a respite from the day’s heat.

The Nile’s steadily dipping shorelines have both villagers and officials worried.

The country relies almost entirely on the river for irrigation and drinking water, and authorities are worried a controversial upstream dam underway in neighbouring Ethiopia could dramatically reduce its flow.


Boko Haram Kills 31 Fishermen In Borno

Boko Haram Ambushes Oil Workers, Abducts Academics In Borno

Boko Haram terrorists have reportedly killed 31 fishermen in Baga, Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State.

News of the killing comes two weeks after the group ambushed members of an oil exploration team in the state, killing more than 20 persons, including troops and abducting University of Maiduguri lecturers who were part of the team.

A source at the Borno State government house said the government had received information on the killing of the fishermen but had yet to get to the scene of the incident to ascertain the situation.

There has been a resurgence in attacks by the terrorists, but the military authorities have said the war against insurgency remains on course.

More to follow…

Shell Relocates Gas Pipeline Across Kolo Creek Underneath River

Shell Relocates Gas Pipeline Across Kolo Creek Underneath RiverThe Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has relocated its Kolo Creek-Soku gas pipeline across Kolo River in Bayelsa from the river surface to the river bed.

A visit to the Kolo Creek Oilfield operated by SPDC shows that the gas pipeline is no longer located on the water surface across the creek.

Oil workers were seen refilling dug out sand from the creek.

SPDC had in October 2016 passed the gas pipeline above the surface of the Kolo River, hampering navigation by fishing canoes, transport boats amongst others in the channel.

The development had triggered resistance amongst environmentalists and residents affected by the blockade which compelled SPDC to remove the pipeline from the water surface and buried it under the riverbed.

Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), had in its advocacy urged SPDC to bury the pipeline to protect the economic interest of residents who used the creek as transport channel and fishing activities.

Reacting to the development, Head of Field Operations at ERA/FoEN,  Mr Alagoa Morris, noted that it was a welcome development and applauded SPDC for taking steps to correct the anomaly.

“It is a positive outcome of our advocacy efforts and we commend SPDC for taking steps to come back to bury the pipeline under the river bed, it shows that we are partners to ensure that the oil industry is run in a sustainable manner.

“We always demand justice and fair play and preach the principle of ‘live and let live’, with the pipeline underneath the Kolo River, fishermen and community people who use the creek will operate while Shell carries on its business as well.

“We in the environmental rights movement are keen on complimenting and strengthening the efforts of the regulatory authorities. We are not trouble makers as some of the industry operators perceive us, we do not shout for nothing.

“When they do well we applaud and commend them, and this is a win-win situation for Shell and its host community. This action makes further protests which we planned unnecessary,” Morris said.

Also, an Environmental Scientist and development worker at Connected Development (CODE), Ms Benita Siloko, noted that she was worried about the adverse impact of crossing the pipeline on water surface when she noticed the pipeline in December 2016 during the Christmas holidays.

“I had observed the pipeline across the water surface and opted to take photographs because it looked abnormal for a channel where boats and canoes pass, I am pleasantly surprised that they have corrected the problem.

“Oil firms must understand that the welfare and economic interest of oil bearing communities count while executing their projects.

“As an environmentalist I feel happy at the development, and it shows that with the support provided by the civil society advocacy groups like ERA/FoEN our communities would be a better place to live in,” Siloko said.

Fishermen Urge FG To Beef Up Security In Calabar

fishermen, FG, CalabarFishermen and traders at the Henshaw beach in Calabar South Local Government Area of Cross River state, are calling on both the state and federal government to strengthen security along the high sea.

This according to them, is in order to prevent them from the daily harassment encountered on the sea by Cameroonian jam-darns.

The request is coming on the heels of series of harassment they have faced, which has in turn hindered them from their fishing activities.

As a result, fish and crayfish have become scarce commodities in recent times in Calabar, the Cross River state capital.

The Henshaw beach town is the major market known for the sale of crayfish, fresh fish, shrimps, snails and other sea-foods.

The market which is usually a beehive of activity as traders travel from within and outside the state to come buy the commodities, has dropped in the patronage level.

The fishermen and traders who have to get around Bakassi area of the high sea put the blame on the insecurity on the waters.

Speaking to Channels Television, they claimed they are usually detained and asked to pay a ransom before they are freed.

They added that in most cases, the money they travel with to purchase goods to bring back for sale, as well as their fishing boats are usually taken away from them.

One of the traders in tears, described her experience as an unfortunate one, while several other victims joined their voices in seeking help from the government.

The Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole, said the Navy was not aware of the claims, but promised to look into the matter and extend its security moves to the flash points.

Furthermore, he called on the community to avail security agencies with useful information that would help them in their intelligence gathering, while promising not to disclose the caller’s identity.

The government has also promised that it would continue to partner the Navy and Marine Police with necessary logistics in order to step up their security measures.

State Security Adviser, Jude Ngaji also assured them of the government’s prompt response to tackling the security challenge.

The fishermen and traders on the other hand are hopeful that the promised prompt intervention, would help them return to their businesses as soon as possible.