Death Toll From Capsized Cameroon Ferry Rises To 17


The death toll from a Cameroon ferry that capsized this week has risen to 17 after more bodies were found, state radio said Wednesday, though the total number of victims was still unknown.

Fourteen more bodies were recovered from the Bakassi Peninsula on Tuesday, two days after the ferry sunk off southwestern Cameroon, Cameroon Radio Television reported.

A source with local authorities confirmed the details to AFP.

State media had initially reported that three victims — of Cameroonian, Nigerian and French nationality — were found and more than 100 people were rescued when the ship went down overnight Sunday to Monday.

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The Austrheim, a trading vessel converted into a passenger ship was supposed to carry 75 people, but it was “overloaded,” according to a statement from the defence ministry.

So far, 111 survivors have been rescued, according to state radio and a local leader. Searches continued on Wednesday for survivors or bodies.

The ship left Sunday from Calabar, Nigeria, and was due to dock at Tiko in southwest Cameroon but hit a sandbar before capsizing, according to the ministry.

17 Chinese, Ukrainian Seamen Kidnapped Off Cameroon



Nine Chinese and eight Ukrainian seamen were abducted in attacks on two merchant ships off Cameroon, in the latest act of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, sources said Friday.

The attacks took place on Thursday in Cameroonian waters off the port of Douala, located at the apex of a gulf that has become a hotspot of seaborne crime.

A Douala official told AFP on Friday that a total of 17 people had been abducted, including “nine Chinese civilian sailors” from one of the ships.

A Cameroonian security official, likewise speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the account.

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The Cameroonian navy and the country’s port service had reported the kidnappings on Thursday but had been unable to give the number or nationality of those taken.

A navy source said the kidnappers “are probably Nigerian pirates,” adding that Cameroon’s security forces had launched a search for them.

The Gulf of Guinea, whose coastline stretches in a huge arc from Liberia to Gabon, is notorious for piracy as well as oil theft, illegal fishing and human and drugs trafficking.

In Malaysia, Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), a watchdog agency, said the 17 seamen were seized from two ships that were attacked within hours of each other while they were anchored off Douala.

Choong said one of the ships was a multipurpose German-owned ship that flew the flag of Antigua and Barbuda.

“Eight crew were kidnapped from the ship, consisting of a total of 12 Asian and European sailors,” he said.

The other vessel was a Liberian-flagged bulk carrier managed in Greece with a Greek owner.

“There were 21 crew on board. All were Asians. Nine crew were taken,” Choong told AFP.

“(The) IMB has issued a warning to all ships at Douala. We ask all ships to take additional precaution.”

Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement quoted by news agencies that three of the kidnapped sailors were Russian nationals. Many Ukrainians also hold Russian citizenship.

Piracy epicentre

In recent years, the seas off West Africa have become “the world’s worst for pirate attacks,” according to the IMB.

Attacks doubled in the Gulf of Guinea in 2018 compared to the previous year — the bulk of them due to piracy, it said.

Of the 75 seafarers taken hostage in the first half of this year, 62 were abducted in the gulf, IMB figures showed.

The Gulf of Guinea now accounts for 73 percent of kidnappings and 92 percent of hostage-takings at sea worldwide, particularly off the coast of Nigeria, Guinea, Togo, Benin and Cameroon.

The 17 countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea and adjacent coastline have limited surveillance and maritime defence capabilities.

They have been trying for several years to bolster their means of intervention and to put in place closer collaboration.

Ten Turkish sailors were freed last week after being kidnapped by “pirates” off Nigeria last month. Pirates normally seize sailors hoping to be paid ransom.

Fire Sweeps Through Cameroon Parliament

This photo taken on November 17, 2017 in Yaounde, Cameroon, shows the damaged building of Cameroon’s parliament after a fire swept through the main building overnight, causing substantial damage. AFP

A fire swept through the main building of Cameroon’s parliament in Yaounde overnight, causing substantial damage, local television reported Friday.

Public broadcaster CRTV said witnesses reported that the blaze was raging on the third and fourth floors of the building.

“Firefighters are working to put out the blaze,” it said on Twitter.

“Several deputies from all parties and administrative authorities are helping the deployment of firefighters to stop the flames, which have already ravaged four floors of the administrative block of the building,” it added.

Pictures posted on social media appeared to show a large part of the building had been damaged.

There has so far been no indication of any casualties and the cause of the blaze was not immediately clear.


Sports Minister Assures Super Falcons On Entitlements

Sports Minister Assures Super Falcons On EntitlementsNigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, has reassured African champions, the Super Falcons that they will receive all their entitlements.

The Honourable Minister, who was in company with NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, met with the players and officials at their Agura Hotel, Abuja on Thursday.

“I had to make time out to meet with you ladies again after receiving you on arrival in Lagos. In the past few days I have heard so much about the team’s grievances, challenges and issues here and there.

“I have also discussed with the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation but I felt it is necessary for me to come and sit to discuss with you in order for us to understand ourselves better.

“The issues with the team date back to the All-Africa Games, bothering on allowances and bonuses. We are also aware that the coaches are also being owed.

“The point I want to make clear is that for this competition which this team have participated in and won, we are indeed overwhelmed by the performance of the team.”

The Minister urged the players and officials to be patient with the Government so that their laudable achievement can be appreciated: “Personally, I don’t want this achievement to be rubbished with whatever challenges we are facing because one thing that will stand to the end is our achievements.”

Dalung concluded by promising the Falcons that the process to sort out their money is in process, and it will be sorted out eventually: “But one thing I want you all to know is that there are procedures for getting such monies from the Federal Government.

“It is not like an ATM that you will just go to and bring out cash. Government has processes on how things are done. We are still processing and pursuing the entitlements of the team.”

Super Falcons Return To Nigeria After Victory

Sweet Victory: Buhari Hails Victorious Super FalconsSuper falcons have returned to Nigeria on Sunday, after a successful outing at the continental tournament in Cameroon.

The champions made their return to Nigeria amid allegations of improper treatment by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF).

A sports journalist, Jessica Amadi, who traveled with the team, stated that the NFF officials came to Yaoundé with a chattered flight and left immediately, without seeing them.

She revealed this via her Twitter account.

According to her, the Nigerian High Commission in Cameroon, expressed its disappointment with the manner the NFF conducted itself.

The Super Falcons defeated the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon in the final of the Africa Women Cup of Nations in Yaoundé.

This makes it the eight Africa Women Cup of Nations’ trophy Nigeria has won, still making them the most successful African women’s team.

Nigeria’s President, Mohammadu Buhari, however described the victory as “very sweet and well-deserved.

Olympic Qualification: Segun Toriola Targets History In Sudan

Segun ToriolaAll eyes will be on Segun Toriola when the 2016 Africa Olympic Qualification Tournament begins in Khartoum, Sudan from February 16 to 18, 2016 as he aims to become the first African to play in seven Olympics.

The former five-time Africa champion holds the record of becoming the first Nigerian to feature in six Olympic Games after the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Toriola made his debut at the Barcelona 1992 Olympics in Spain, and since then, he has made it to all the Olympics with his best record of reaching the Men’s Singles 1/16 final at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, beating amongst others former world number 1, Belgium’s Jean-Michel Saive as well as Canada’s David Zhuang.

His 1/32 match-up with Jean-Michel Saive was seen by many as one of the highlights of the Men’s Singles Tournament. He narrowly lost 4-3 to heavily favoured South Korea’s Oh Sang-Eun in the round of 16.

His fifth Olympic appearance in 2008 made him the first Nigerian man to appear at five Olympics. This feat was achieved four years earlier by sprinter Mary Onyali and also in 2008 by another table tennis player Bose Kaffo.

With his participation in the 2012 Olympics in London, he became the only Nigerian athlete to feature at six Olympics. He therefore joined João N’Tyamba of Angola and Maria Mutola of Mozambique as only third ever African athlete to compete in six Olympics.

Having narrowly missed the automatic qualification at the 2015 African Games in Congo Brazzaville following his quarterfinal loss to Congo Brazzaville’s Wang Jianan, Segun Toriola will be hoping for one of the two slots available in the men’s event in Sudan.

As the most successful table tennis player in Africa, all eyes are fixed on the Nigerian as he aims to become the first African to play in seven Olympics.

According to the President of Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, the tournament hopes to open a new chapter in the history of table tennis in the continent with Segun Toriola on the verge of history while the host – Sudan hopes to stage a colourful event.

“It will be a very big surprise and a real honour for Africa Table Tennis to host such Top 16 Cup followed by the African Qualification 2nd Tournament for 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

On whether Congo Brazzaville can nominate their second Chinese import for the qualifiers, the ATTF boss said; “In-spite of the African qualification tournament for 2016 Rio OG, it will take place in Khartoum – Sudan on February 16 to 18, 2016 just after the ITTF-Africa Top 16 Cup, and the eligibility for such event is for all nominees having valid passports (i.e. according to IOC eligibility), the same rules already applied for the 11th African Games as the 1st qualification event to 2016 Rio OG.

“This means that as Congo Brazzaville still entitled to send one entry in each single event (men & women), thus they can nominate HU Bin in men & also LI Yuheng in women if they wish to do so.”

He added: “All African Associations entitle to send two entries (men) + two entries (women) for the African Qualification Tournament in Sudan (16-18/2/2016) except for Sudan as the host to have 4 men + 4 women, Congo Brazzaville to send 1 man + 1 woman, Nigeria to send 1 man + 1 woman, while for Egypt has no chance to send any entries in both. This is due to the already qualified players from the 1st stage of qualification in Brazzaville (September 2015) with 4 men + 4 women including (2 from EGY, 1 from NGR & 1 from CGO), especially all those qualified players already confirmed by their NOCs to play in 2016 Rio OG.”

Segun Toriola has won multiple medals in continental and international singles tournaments. Some of his important achievements include winning the African Table Tennis Singles Championships four times in 1998, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2 Doubles Championships in 1994 and 1992. He also has a Commonwealth Singles Championship gold medal which he won in Manchester in 2002.


Elonu Makes All-Star Five At AfroBasket Women 2015

afrobasketD’Tigress forward, Adaora Elonu, has been rewarded for her impressive performance at the just concluded 2015 AfroBasket Women.

Elonu was included in the all-star team after averaging 13.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2 assists in the tournament.

Senegal shooting guard, Aya Traore, got the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, while Cameroon’s Ramses Lonlack, Geraldine Robert of Gabon, Deolinda Ngulela of Mozambique, complete the list.

On Saturday, D’Tigress used a dominant performance in the final quarter to clinch the third-place at AfroBasket Women 2015 in Yaounde, Cameroon.

With the victory, D’ Tigress clinched the last spot available for the Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament to be played in 2016.

Afrobasket: D’ Tigress Win Bronze

TigressD’ Tigress of Nigeria on Saturday used a dominant performance in the final quarter to clinch the third-place at AfroBasket Women 2015 in Yaounde, Cameroon.

Joyce Ekworomadu paced Nigeria with a team-high 15 points as they kept their Olympic hopes alive with a 65-55 victory.

Sonia Guadalupe hit 3-pointers to lead Angola with 13 points but they finished out of the podium for the first time since 2005.

With the victory, D’ Tigress clinched the last spot available for the Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament to be played next year.

2015 Afrobasket: Nigeria To Face Cameroon In Semi Final

d'tigress-nigeriaNigeria’s D’Tigress will face hosts Cameroon in the semi final of 2015 Afrobasket Championships.

Cameroon secured a 76 to 54 points victory over Egypt to book a place in the last four.

Senegal also defeated Mali 57 to 34 points, while Angola booked their place in the semis’ courtesy of a hard fought victory over Gabon.

Earlier, Nigeria edged out a tough Mozambican side 71-66 points at the city arena where Ndidi Madu notched up 12 points and 13 rebounds to inspire her side to victory.

Both semi final matches will be played later on Friday in Yaounde, Cameroon.

Nigeria’s D’Tigress Through To Semi-Final In Afrobasket Women

d'tigressNigeria’s D’Tigress have advanced to the semi-final of the 2015 Afrobasket Women Championship in Yaounde, Cameroon.

The senior women basketball team, on Thursday, edged out a tough Mozambican side 71-66 points at the City Arena.

D’Tigress began strongly with a 20-13 points lead in the first period, but trailed the Mozambicans in the second and third periods 23 to 21 and 18-12 points in a very tight contest between both sides.

The D’Tigress, however, bounced back in the last quarter 18 points to 12, to stay in contention for their third Afrobasket title.

Nigeria last won the title in 2005 when it was hosted in Abuja.

Nigeria’s Ndidi Madu notched up 12 points and 13 rebounds to inspire her side to victory.

D’Tigress To Face Mozambique In Afrobasket Q/Final

d'tigressNigeria’s D’Tigress will face Mozambique in quarter finals of the ongoing Afrobasket Championships.

Mozambique defeated Gabon 79 to 49 points in Group A encounter and finished as third best team.

Earlier, Nigeria defeated Algeria by same points in their last group game, making it four wins out of five and finishing in second position.

Group A leaders, Cameroon will face Egypt in the last eight, while Gabon lock horns with Angola.

Senegal will battle Mali for a place in the last four.

All quarterfinal matches will be played on Thursday, October 1, in Yaounde, Cameroon.

Nigeria’s D’Tigress Beat Guinea 100-47 In Women Afrobasket

d'tigressNigeria’s D’Tigress did not really break a sweat blowing out lowly Guinea in Sunday’s only game of Afrobasket Women championship in Yaounde, Cameroon, as they won 100 points to 47.

Although Coach Scott Nnaji sat out team leading scorer, Olayinka Sanni, Nigeria easily recorded an easy 100 points to 47 victory.

Joyce Ekworomadu inspired five other Nigerians who scored 12 points or more, while Nadia Peruch-Niang paced Guinea with 17 points and 7 rebounds.

Guinea, in the second quarter, made three shots from beyond the arc, cutting the deficit to just 13 points, but it was a matter of time as Nigeria went on to close the third quarter with a 73-40 lead.

Nigeria will face Senegal later tonight in another Group B game.