UN Condemns Violence In North Darfur

In this file photo, The United Nations flag is seen during the Climate Action Summit 2019 at the United Nations General Assembly Hall on September 23, 2019, in New York City. Ludovic MARIN / AFP.

 

The joint United Nations and African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) condemned Tuesday “violent incidents” in North Darfur state which left nine dead and 20 wounded.

“UNAMID is deeply concerned about the violent incidents that erupted in Kutum town on 12 July and the attack by unidentified armed men on the Fata Borno IDP (internally displaced people) camp on the morning of 13 July 2020 which left 9 IDPs dead and 20 injured,” the peacekeeping mission said in a statement.

“It is regrettable that these incidents have taken place while the transitional government of Sudan and the armed movements are close to concluding negotiations expected to bring peace and stability… to the Darfur region and the whole of Sudan,” it added.

Darfur has long been plagued by poor security and armed groups.

North Darfur (Shamal Darfur is the largest of the five states that make up Sudan’s Darfur region

 

 

In 2003, a deadly ethnic conflict broke out in Darfur between African minority rebels and forces backed by the government of ex-president Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted in April 2019.

Bashir is wanted by The Hague-based International Criminal Court over charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

The United Nations says the conflict killed 300,000 people and displaced 2.5 million.

Sudan’s current transitional government, comprised of military and civilian figures led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok since last year, has engaged in talks with three key rebel groups to reach a peace deal to end the wars in Darfur, the Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

A signing ceremony with various rebel factions slated for Tuesday was delayed once again.

In the wake of the recent unrest, North Darfur’s governor announced a state of emergency on Monday.

AFP

Acts Of Terrorism, Violence In Northern Nigeria Are Intolerable – EU

A photo combination of an EU flag and a community deserted by residents after an attack by bandits in Katsina State.

 

 

The European Union has condemned the latest attacks on communities and villages in the northern part of the country.

In a joint statement on Tuesday by the High Representative/ Vice-President, Josep Borrell, and Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, it noted that the situation has worsened recently.

According to the statement, attacks, abductions, and killings of civilians by armed groups in northern Nigeria have led to the death of over 160 people, including 130 civilians since 28 May.

[READ ALSO] Borno, Katsina Killings: Criminals Taking Advantage Of COVID-19 Restrictions – Buhari

“Such heinous acts of terrorism and violence are intolerable.

“These attacks pose a serious threat to Nigeria’s security and to that of the wider region, including in the increasingly restive North-west of the country,” the statement said.

It added, “The ongoing conflict, growing food insecurity and COVID-19 pandemic significantly increase humanitarian needs in north-east Nigeria.”

The EU stressed that international humanitarian law must be safeguarded and respected by all parties to the conflict in Nigeria and elsewhere.

It warned that civilian and humanitarian personnel should not be targets of kidnappers, bandits, and terrorists among other criminals.

The EU also urged the Nigerian government, the states, and all parties involved to facilitate the unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for the victims of such attacks.

“The EU stands by Nigeria and its people in this period of increased violence and instability,” the statement said.

The reaction from the EU followed the series of attacks that have claimed several lives in Borno and Katsina, and some other states in the North.

These have sparked outrage in the country, along with heated debates over the effort of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in tackling the nation’s security challenges.

In his reaction, President Buhari blamed the killings in Borno and Katsina on the restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the states.

Pope Francis Calls For World To Push For End To Libya Violence

Pope Francis leaves at the end of a Holy Mass on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, on June 14, 2020 at St. Peter’s Basilica in The Vatican, as the city-state eases its lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)

 

Pope Francis on Sunday urged international bodies as well as political and military leaders to stop the violence in Libya and to also end the plight of migrants, refugees and others trapped there.

Speaking from a window at his Vatican residence on St Peter’s Square, the pope told the faithful he included his concerns in his prayers over recent days.

“I am following the dramatic situation in Libya with great apprehension,” he said.

“I urge international bodies and those who have political and military responsibilities to recommence with conviction and resolve the search for a path towards an end to the violence, leading to peace, stability and unity in the country.”

The pope also said he prayed for “the thousands of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons in Libya”.

Alluding apparently to the coronavirus pandemic also hitting Libya, he said “the health situation has aggravated the already precarious conditions in which they find themselves, making them more vulnerable to forms of exploitation and violence.”

He added “there is cruelty”, urging the international community to take “their plight to heart” and find ways and means “to provide them with the protection they need, a dignified condition and a future of hope.”

READ ALSO: Second Wave Fears As China Reports More New Infections

The oil-rich North African nation has been mired in chaos and violence since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.

The UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) controls the west, including the capital Tripoli, while military strongman Khalifa Haftar holds the east and some of the far-flung oases and oilfields that dot the south.

War and division are now weakening Libya’s fight against the novel coronavirus, with the government struggling to deal with an outbreak deep in the desert south.

AFP

Twenty-Six Massacred In Mali After Attack On Fulani Village

Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa.
Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa.

 

Twenty-six people were killed in an attack on a village in central Mali, officials said Saturday, in the latest violence to hit the West African nation.  

Friday’s attack targeted a Fulani village named Binedama in the volatile Mopti region, said Aly Barry, an official from Tabital Pulaaku, a Fulani association in Mali.

Two other local officials confirmed the attack and the death toll to AFP.

Mali has been struggling to quell a jihadist revolt that first broke out in north in 2012, before spreading to the centre, as well as neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed in the conflict, while many more have been forced to flee their homes.

Central Mali — an ethnic mosaic — has become one of the flashpoints of conflict in the country, with regular jihadist attacks on military targets and occasional intercommunal fighting.

The pastoralist Fulani people are often accused of being close to jihadists, a perception which has led to tit-for-tit massacres between them and other ethnic groups.

A local government official in Koro, a subdivision of the Mopti region, told AFP that the attack on Binedama occurred on Friday afternoon.

Two women, and a nine-year-old girl, were killed in the attack, he said.

Friday’s attack also comes at a time of increasing insecurity in Mali.

Prominent opposition figure Soumaila Cisse was kidnapped in central Mali on March 25 while campaigning for a parliamentary election.

The region has also seen several massacres recently, including a militant attack on rural villages which left 12 people dead in April.

13 Killed In Katsina Bandit Attacks

 

Thirteen people died on Friday when villagers fought back against armed cattle thieves in Katsina State where rustling has been on the increase.

The spokesperson of the police in the state, Gambo Isah, confirmed this to Channels Television on Saturday.

Also speaking to AFP, the PPRO noted that residents of four villages, organised in local militias, took on the livestock rustlers.

“Thirteen people were killed and others injured in the process,” Isah said.

“We keep telling people who are only armed with muskets and machetes to avoid confrontation with bandits who came with Kalashnikov rifles”.

Read Also: Six Notorious Bandits Arrested In Katsina

Northwestern Nigeria has been wracked by years of violence between rival communities over land, attacks by heavily-armed criminal gangs and reprisal killings by vigilante groups.

Cattle rustling and kidnapping for ransom have also flourished in the security vacuum.

The military has carried out air raids on camps in Katsina, President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state, and neighbouring Zamfara to try to stamp out the attacks but despite that, a resurgence continues to occur even amid the COVID-19.

Earlier on Friday, the police stated that it had arrested six notorious bandits terrorising Dutsinma Local Government Area of the state, recovering 130 cows along with 225 sheep.

According to them, two of the bandits are from Shamushalle village, another two from Nahuta village in Batsari Local Government Area, while the remaining two are from Kurfi and Safana LGAs of the state.

23,000 Refugees Flee Into Niger Over Violence In North West Of Nigeria – UN

File photo: IDP cams in the north of Nigeria.

 

 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has said that an estimated 23,000 persons in the northwestern part of Nigeria, have been forced to seek safety and security in Niger in the last one month (April) due to the violence in the region.

According to a statement issued by the UNHCR on Tuesday, this takes the total number of refugees fleeing that part of the country to take sanctuary in neighbouring Niger, to more than 60,000 since the first influx, in April last year.

“Since April 2019, people have fled relentless attacks by armed groups in the Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina states of Nigeria. Most found refuge in Niger’s Maradi region,” the statement read.

“Fearing and fleeing the same insecurity in the border areas, an additional 19,000 Niger nationals have become displaced inside their own country”.

The UNHCR further explained that the latest influx of refugees, which involves mainly desperate women and children, follows attacks in Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara states during the month of April.

“Several villages in several Local Government Areas were attacked by gunmen.

“The deadliest attack claimed 47 lives in Kankara, Danmusa and Dusi-ma Local Government Areas in Katsina State and prompted airstrikes by the Nigerian Armed Forces,” the statement added.

According to the UNHCR, those fleeing speak of extreme violence unleashed against civilians, murders, kidnappings for ransom and pillaging and looting of villages and despite border closures due to COVID-19,  they are still being allowed to seek protection in Niger.

Meanwhile, there’s now an urgent need for water, food and access to health services, as well as shelter and clothing.

But the agency says it is working closely with authorities in Niger to relocate at least 7,000 refugees to safety, in villages 20 kilometres away from the border, where water, food, shelter, access to health and other essential assistance can be provided.

This, according to them, will also ease the pressure on host communities in border areas, where basic infrastructure and services are lacking.

Six Dead In Afghanistan After Food Donation Turns Violent

Women wait to receive free bread from the municipality outside a bakery during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan as government-imposed a nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Kabul on April 29, 2020. WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP
Women wait to receive free bread from the municipality outside a bakery during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan as government-imposed a nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Kabul on April 29, 2020. WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP

 

Two policemen and four other people were killed in Afghanistan on Saturday after a deadly clash at a public food donation in central Ghor province, officials said.

Hundreds of people had gathered outside the governor’s office in the provincial capital Firozkoh, where a Qatari group was distributing aid.

It was not immediately clear why the gathering turned violent, but officials blamed armed men in the crowd.

“The protesters opened fire on the police,” the provincial governor’s spokesman Aref Haber said.

“Four civilians, including an employee of a local radio and two policemen were killed,” he said, adding that 19 people were also wounded.

He said the protesters also beat security personnel and an investigation into the incident was underway.

The interior ministry confirmed the death toll in a statement, saying “some illegal armed men in the mob attacked the government building”, which prompted police to fire into the air to disperse the crowd.

Abdul Rahman Akshan, the deputy head of Ghor’s provincial council, also confirmed the incident and the death toll.

Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh said the attack was “shocking” and announced that the “government was seriously investigating the incident” in a Facebook post.

The aid group was distributing food to about 1,000 local families. Food drives are a common practice in the country during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Afghanistan is battling a growing coronavirus outbreak that has exacerbated problems with food access in the impoverished country.

 

AFP

Youths Protest Over Killing Of Five People In Kaduna

A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria's North-Central region.
A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria’s North-Central region.

 

Youths in Kaduna State on Tuesday took to the streets to protest over the killing of five persons allegedly by police officers in Trikania community of Kaduna South local Government Area.

The five persons were killed in a violence that broke out in the area on Monday after the police and some members of the local vigilante group popularly known as the Civilian JTF attempted to disperse some traders.

READ ALSO: Abducted Brother Of Bauchi Governor Regains Freedom

According to them the traders had violated the state’s lockdown order and they resisted the efforts of the security agencies to disperse them, which then resulted in resulted in the tragedy.

While members of the community insist that the deceased died as a result of gunshots from the police, the police insist that they had no hand in the killing.
Four other persons were also injured in the violence but are currently undergoing treatment.

Since March 26, Kaduna State has been on total lockdown as the government imposed a 24-hour curfew in order to contain the spread of the COVID-19 disease in the state.

While there has been total compliance with the order in the city center, it has been serially violated in many satellite towns in the state.

13 Killed, 15 Injured In India Riots

Police personnel march on a road scattered with stones following clashes between supporters and opponents of new citizenship law, in Delhi on February 25, 2020.  Amarjeet Kumar Singh / AFP

 

Thirteen people have been killed and more than 150 injured in sectarian violence that erupted in India’s capital New Delhi for the third day, a hospital official said Tuesday.

“I can now confirm 13 deaths. At least 150 people have come to our hospital with injuries,” Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital official Rajesh Kalra told AFP, adding that a dozen people were in critical condition.

“We are still receiving some people with injuries, most of them firearm injuries today.”

AFP

Police Arrest 17 Suspects For Cultism, Violence In Lagos

Some of the suspects arrested by the police.

 

 

The Lagos State Police Command has arrested 17 suspects for cultism and violence in the Ijora Badia and Ikorodu areas of the state.

A statement on Sunday by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Bala Elkana, revealed that the suspects were arrested in batches of five and 12.

Elkana explained that two rival cult groups armed with dangerous weapons engaged themselves in a battle for supremacy at Iso Isu in Ijora Badia and inflicted various degrees of injuries on each other on Friday last week.

He said the police got a distress call and mobilised police operatives from Ijora Badia Division and Special Strike Force on Social Miscreants from the Command Headquarters to the area where five suspects were arrested.

READ ALSO: El-Zakzaky, Wife Unfit To Stand Trial, Court Rules

The suspects are Olaniyi  Abiodun, Emola Kamal, Muritala Gbadeyanka, Kadiri Bashorun, and Adebayo Ebiesuwa, all between ages 18 and 28 years.

“They belong to Aiye and Eiye confraternities,” Elkana said.

Similarly, suspected members of the two cult groups attacked each other on Sunday at Ladega area in Ikorodu where one Lateef Akinpelu was seriously injured.

The police arrested 12 suspects and recovered a locally made pistol while the injured person was taken to General Hospital in Ikorodu for treatment.

Violence, Boycott Overshadow Cameroon Elections

 

Cameroon voted Sunday in polls overshadowed by a partial opposition boycott and separatist violence that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

Elections for the central African country’s legislature and local councils are taking place for the first time in seven years, after two postponements.

They are unlikely to ruffle the enduring rule of President Paul Biya, one of the world’s oldest and longest-serving leaders, who has held a tight grip on power for 37 of his 86 years.

As voting began large numbers of police and soldiers were seen deployed on the streets of Buea, the capital of the Southwest Region, one of two provinces gripped by bloody separatist violence.

But the polling stations in the city were almost deserted an hour after they opened at 8am (0700 GMT).

The main opposition party, the Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon (MRC) is refusing to field a single candidate.

The boycott will all but guarantee a crushing victory for the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (RDPC in its French initials), which in the outgoing legislature had 148 out of 180 seats.

The other large opposition party, the Social Democratic Front (SDF), which currently has 18 seats, will take part in Sunday’s vote, going back on a threat to snub it.

In the capital Yaounde, it appeared that enthusiasm for the vote was subdued, with no crowds outside polling stations as they opened in the district of Briqueterie.

“I want to do my duty as a citizen,” said Abdias Lah, one of the few voters to cast an early ballot.

– ‘Spiral of violence’ –

Cameroon is struggling with two conflicts.

In the two English-speaking regions — the southwest and northwest — the armed forces are battling separatists who want to secede from the majority French-speaking country.

The 28-month conflict has claimed more than 3,000 lives and caused more than 700,000 people to flee, according to tolls compiled by NGOs.

Amnesty International said there has been a “surge in violence” by the Cameroon military in the weeks leading up to the vote, resulting in killings and the displacement of thousands in the English-speaking regions.

“In recent weeks, brutal military operations have been conducted while crimes committed by armed separatists continue unabated. Civilians are finding themselves trapped in a spiral of violence,” said Fabien Offner, Amnesty’s Lake Chad Researcher.

The SDF traditionally draws much of its support from the anglophone regions but now fears that it has been outflanked by the radicals — and says its candidates there have come under attack.

Similar worries are being voiced for the safety of polling stations in Cameroon’s Far North region, which has been battered by Boko Haram jihadists crossing from Nigeria.

The government on Friday announced that all of Cameroon’s borders would be closed until Monday, and shops and drink outlets had to close on polling day.

– City power –
MRC leader, Maurice Kamto, spent nine months in jail after his defeat in 2018 presidential elections and is now abroad.

“We could have had a few seats in parliament and some town councillors, but how would that enable us to influence events in Cameroon?” Kamto said in an interview with AFP in Paris last month.

Given the seemingly inevitable outcome of legislative vote, most media attention has focused on the municipal elections that are also taking place.

Some cities, including Douala, the country’s economic hub, could swing to the opposition, according to some forecasts.

City chiefs are to gain powers under measures taken in December to decentralise some authority out of Yaounde.

The reforms have been triggered by the anglophone crisis although they fall far short of meeting the separatists’ demands.

“The stakes (on Sunday) are local,” said Stephane Akoa, a researcher at the Paul Ango Ela think tank in Yaounde.

Police Arrest 86 Suspects For Cultism, Violence In Ikorodu

Police-Policeeeee
A file photo of a police patrol van.

 

 

The Lagos State Police Command says it has arrested 86 suspects for cultism and violent attacks in the Ikorodu area of the state.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Bala Elkana, stated in a statement that the arrests were made in two batches.

“On 25/1/2020 at about 0600hour, acting on credible intelligence, the Special Strike Force on Social Miscreants established by the Commissioner of Police Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu psc arrested 21 cult suspects at Adamo community, Imota.

“The suspects who belong to two rival cult groups, Aiye and Eiye confraternity, mobilised from Emure and Adamo communities to unleash terror on residents of Adamo community and environs,” he said.

Elkana explained that the arrest was carried out in joint operations with operatives from Imota Police Station, Rapid Response Squad, Special Anti-Robbery Squad, and Area N Command.

According to him, this is a follow up to the operations carried out at Ijede where 65 cult suspects were arrested.

The command’s spokesman said 11 assorted pistols of different types with a large quantity of ammunition were recovered from the suspects.

“The suspects confessed to be responsible for series of violent attacks, murder and armed robbery incidents recorded in Ikorodu area of Lagos State,” he added.

Elkana stated that the suspects would be charged to court and the police commissioner has reaffirmed the commitment of the Command to addressing the menace of cultism and youth gangsterism in the state.