Network Africa on this edition starts off from Nigeria where the House of Representatives, concerned about the increase in the number of Nigerian students killed abroad, has mandated a joint committee to conduct a public hearing on the matter and report back to the House in two months.
Raising the motion, the Chairman of the House Committee on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, says Nigerian students have become endangered species in different parts of the world, leading to the House urging Nigerian embassies in Ghana, Malaysia, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa to ensure all pending cases are thoroughly investigated.
Oscar Pistorius Trial
It appears to be a 50 /50 chance for the Paralympics star as a key Police ballistics expert says Oscar Pistorius was not wearing his prosthetic legs when he shot his girlfriend, as the athlete’s trial continued in South Africa.
The prosecution says he intentionally shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013, after an argument. Mr Pistorius denies murdering her, saying he thought she was an intruder. The latest account lends support to the defence team’s insistence that the shooting was not premeditated.
Our South Africa correspondent, Betty Dibia, tells us specifically about the happenings on day 11 of the trial which was the very first time the mother of the deceased showed up since the proceedings began.
Also from South Africa, President Jacob Zuma is being slammed by critics for using way too much money to give his home a makeover.
The amount which is 23 million dollars was state-funded and was for a security upgrade to his private home that included a swimming pool, cattle enclosure and amphitheatre.
As a consequence, he might have to repay costs for some of the unnecessary renovations.
Rest of Africa
The plans of 2 men were foiled when Kenyan police arrested them, when they suspected them of having links to Somali Islamist militant group after they were tracked and found to have six large bombs that may have been aimed for use in the area of the port city of Mombasa.
The search for greener pastures almost claimed the lives of 596 people as the Italian Navy was able to rescue the people off the Italian coast on Monday (March 17), 62 of whom were children.
The migrants, mainly from Eritrea, were huddled onto two different boats and were spotted by the Italian Navy ships off the coast of the southern island of Lampedusa.
Meanwhile, two Egyptian army officers and five jihadist militants have been killed in a gunfight that erupted during a raid North of Cairo.
The Brigadier and Colonel, both bomb disposal experts, took part in the raid on a warehouse in Qal-Yu-Bi-Ya province along with police and Special Forces.
The militants were from Ansar beit al-maqdis, which has claimed responsibility for a string of attacks. The Al-Qaeda-linked group, which is based in the Sinai Peninsula, is believed to have killed more than 200 security forces and government personnel since the military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi in July.
A Trip To Space
Despite the tension in Egypt, however, some people are realizing their dreams of going outside of the planet. Egyptian adventurer and mountaineer, Omar Samra will soon become the first Egyptian to travel to space after winning the Axe Space Academy competition.
Samra is among 23 winners of the competition who are set to be sent into orbit in early 2015, in a journey he says has been a lifelong dream.
Kenyan police said on Friday they had arrested two Iranians after they seized chemicals they suspected were going to be used to make explosives in Mombasa, which has been hit by a series of attacks.
The port city, the capital Nairobi and other parts of Kenya have suffered a series of grenade attacks since Kenya sent troops into Somalia last year to try to crush al Shabaab insurgents it blames for a surge in violence and kidnappings threatening tourism in east Africa’s biggest economy.
Police arrested the Iranians on Wednesday in Nairobi. On the same day, police impounded a container in Mombasa originating from Iraq and suspected to be carrying explosives.
On Thursday, police flew one of the suspects to Mombasa, where he led police to recover 15 kg of powder, which security experts took to their laboratory for testing.
“They are cooperating well. They are giving us key information that might help us reduce terrorist attacks in the country,” Ambrose Munyasia, a senior police officer at the Coast region told Reuters.
“We want to find out whether these substances are linked to any terror groups, including al Shabaab, al Qaeda and any other group,” Aggrey Adoli, Coast provincial police officer, added.
Francis Kimemia, Kenya’s acting head of civil service who was in Mombasa, said the government had sought the help of international agencies such the FBI and Interpol in helping deal with security threats.
“We have been working with them in terms of identifying criminals. We cannot fight terrorism alone. You have to work with other partners and other state organs,” he said.
In the most recent attack, a bomb exploded in a trading center in the heart of Nairobi in late May, wounding more than 30 people. One person later died from their injuries.
Gunmen also detonated grenades outside a nightclub in Mombasa in May, killing one person and wounding several others.
Al Shabaab seeks to impose a strict version of sharia, Islamic law. The group emerged as a force in 2006 as part of a movement that pushed U.S.-backed warlords out of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.
At present it also has hundreds of foreign fighters in its ranks.