By - Adedoyin Shittu
As usual, Aprecon brings you a brief of some major stories that caught our radar in the 39th week of 2019. Osinbajo alleged corruption accusation takes the major highlights this week as he was accused to be the chief of yahoo yahoo. After many back and forth, Osinbajo decieved to waiver his immunity and took the accuser to court. Another major story is the uncovering of the coup plot against Ghanian president, Nana Afuko-Addo.
Sample of other major stories are briefed below.
Somalia: Al-Shabaab attack kills at least 8 troops
At least eight government soldiers were killed and several others wounded when fighters from Somali-based al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabaab attacked Somali National Army (SNA) base in Lower Shabelle region, officials said on Sunday, 22nd September. The attack took place at SNA base in the vicinity of El-Saliini, near the port city of Marka, the capital of Lower Shabelle region on Sunday morning. Adow Moalim Mohamed, Somali National Army captain, told Anadolu Agency over the phone that al-Shabaab attacked the army base in El-Saliini, killing 8 soldiers and wounding several others. “Gunmen from al-Shabaab terrorist group al-Shabaab attacked our base and then exchange of heavy fire between our forces and the group erupted. On our side, 8 soldiers were killed but we also killed more fighters”, Mohamed said.
Ibrahim Adan Najah, Lower Shabelle governor, and the Somali National Army command confirmed the attack and said the army repulsed al-Shabaab attack but didn’t say anything about the casualties. Villagers in the area told Anadolu Agency over that the base is under al-Shabaab hands after the fierce fighting. Al-Qaeda affiliated group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the deadly attack and said they killed more government soldiers and seized 6 armored vehicles from the base.
Prince Harry, Meghan and Archie arrive in Cape Town for the first leg of their Africa tour
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, along with their four month-old son Archie landed on Monday, 23rd September in Cape Town, South Africa for the start of their 10 day royal tour, their first royal tour as a family of three. While the duchess and Archie will stay in South Africa for the duration of the ten-day tour, the duke will separately visit Angola, Malawi and Botswana before being reunited with his family in Johannesburg.
Nigeria: 36 Cows struck dead by thunder
Herdsmen ran for their dear lives in Ondo State last Saturday; 21st September, when 36 cows were struck dead by lightning on top of a sacred hill at Ijare town in Ifedore Local Government Area (LGA) of the state. The hill, which is known as “Oke Owa,” is located on the outskirts of the agrarian community. It was gathered that only the king of the town and some chiefs that normally visit the town once a year during the celebration of the new yam festival to perform some rituals.
Mr Timi Frank, a former chieftain of Osinbajo’s All Progressives Congress (APC), accused the vice president of collecting N90 billion from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to fund the 2019 presidential election. In his reaction, Osinbajo said he has commenced legal action against Frank and Ononuju. The VP also announced that he’ll waive his constitutional immunity to enable the most robust investigation of the claims of libel and malicious falsehood. The FIRS has dismissed Frank’s allegations as a calculated attempt to smear its image and that of the vice president.
Kenya: At Least 7 Children Dead in Kenya School Collapse
A school collapsed in Kenya’s capital on Monday and killed at least seven children and two other children were in critical condition. “We were in class reading and we heard pupils and teachers screaming, and the class started collapsing and then a stone hit me on the mouth,” one survivor, 10-year-old Tracy Oduor, told The Associated Press. “When we got out of the gate we heard that pupils were dead. I feel so sad!”
Government spokesman Cyrus Oguna confirmed the deaths, and Kenyatta National Hospital later said 64 children had been admitted, most with minor injuries. “The children here were all running away and crying,” resident Michael Otieno said. More than 800 students are enrolled at the school, officials said.
It was not immediately clear why the building of corrugated metal and wood collapsed around 7:30 a.m. Construction can be poorly regulated in some fast-growing Kenyan communities. “You can easily break it with your own hands, as easy as that,” Peter Ouko, a resident, said of the building materials. “This is chicken wire, not a construction material, and someone had the guts to use this to build a construction for our kids. I think this is basically premeditated murder.” Nathaniel Matalanga, a structural engineer with La Femme Engineering Services Ltd., told reporters that he didn’t think “any professionals” were involved in the school’s construction and he blamed “greed.”
Separatist Leaders Shun Cameroon’s ‘National Dialogue’
Next week, Cameroon’s government will host what it calls a national dialogue on the separatist crisis in its Northwest and Southwest regions. However, U.S.- and Europe-based separatist leaders invited to the talks say they will not take part in any dialogue unless it is held outside Cameroon with non-Cameroonians as mediators. The government has stated it will not accept a foreign mediator. The week-long dialogue on the separatist crisis is due to begin Monday in Yaounde. The government says it has invited more than 1,000 people, including lawmakers, clergy, teachers, and civil society activists. However, none of the U.S.- and Europe-based separatist leaders contacted by VOA said they will attend the talks.
Nigeria: After 52 days in detention, court grants Sowore bail
A federal high court in Abuja has granted Omoyele Sowore, convener of #RevolutionNow protest, bail. The court released him to the custody of Femi Falana, his counsel, and asked that he deposited his international passport with the court registry within 48 hours.
While delivering a ruling on Tuesday, Taiwo Taiwo, the judge, said there was no longer a subsisting order holding the SaharaReporters publisher in detention.
The Department of State Service (DSS) is still holding activist and Convener of the botched RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore, in its custody four days after the Federal High Court ordered his release.
Sudan: Calls to drop Sudan from U.S. terror list
Emir of Qatar, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sis and the former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in their speech on Tuesday, September 24th, at the United Nations General Assembly in New York called on the Trump administration to remove Sudan from its terror list to allow international support for its fragile transitional government. US officials however informed Sudan that removing it from the terror list is complicated because it is tied to Congress and could take nine months to a year.
Ghana: Ghana arrests masterminds of coup plot
Ghana’s information ministry on Monday said security operatives had foiled a coup plot, and arrested the masterminds. In a statement posted on Twitter, Ghana’s government said the plot that was targeting the presidency, had “the ultimate aim of destabilising the country.” The statement added that the government had monitored activities of the plotters for 15 months, culminating in the arrest of three plotters and seizure of weapons last Friday, September 20th. The government said it was able to recover a stash of weapons including, six pistols, three smoke grenades, 22 IEDs, two AK47, magazines and computer equipment and one long knife.
News of the coup plot were met with mixed reactions as some Ghanaians doubted the capacity of the arrested individuals could pull off such a mission, and others condemned any non-democratic means of changing government. Ghana’s president Nana Afuko-Addo was elected in 2016, and will be seeking a second term next year.
South Africa:5 years old boy gang-raped at South African school by four nine-year-old boys
A five-year-old boy was raped by four nine-year-olds who took turns assaulting him at a school in South Africa, it is alleged. The youngster was attacked in a classroom as he was about to leave school, his mother claims, with one boy allegedly telling him: ‘You’ll be my dog’. The mother said she grew suspicious when her son did not return home for hours after his usual finishing time. When he finally returned, he told her what had happened, she explained to South African newspaper Sowetan.
According to her son’s account, the four older boys pushed him into a classroom where they undressed him and took turns raping him. One of them allegedly told him in Zulu that ‘you’ll be my [female] dog’. The boy was allegedly assaulted at Fakukhanya Primary School in Ekurhuleni, near Johannesburg.
Since the alleged attack, the boy had become ‘violent among other kids’ and refused to go to school last week, his mother said. ‘I took him to the local clinic and even though they said there was not much damage I am still very worried about my son’s state of health,’ she said. The mother, 29, said school authorities had rebuffed her and told her to take the case to police. However, police told her they could not open a case. The age of criminal responsibility is 10 in South Africa, meaning children younger than that cannot be prosecuted or convicted of crimes.
Libya: US air strike kills 11 in southern Libya
US forces said on Wednesday, 25th September, that they had killed 11 suspected militants linked to Daesh in their second air strike near the southern Libyan town of Murzuq in less than a week. “This airstrike was conducted to eliminate ISIS terrorists and deny them the ability to conduct attacks on the Libyan people,” Major General William Gayler, director of operations for US Africa Command, said in a statement. The US has said it will not allow militants to use a conflict between eastern and western-based factions around the capital Tripoli to protect themselves.
Nigeria: Boko Haram Kills Dozen Soldiers In Ambush In Latest Attack
Many soldiers have been killed while others are missing following an attack by Boko Haram insurgents on a Nigerian Army’s convoy in GubioLocal Government Area of Borno State, local sources said. The incident happened Wednesday on the highway between Gubio and Magumeri at 4:15 pm. “The attackers laid ambush with an anti-aircraft gun and other weapons. More than a dozen soldiers were killed in the attack while several others sustained injuries,” Daily Trust quoted one of the sources as saying. A source added that the insurgents seized caches of weapons and ammunition along with a utility vehicle belonging to the troops.
UN: World losing ground against violence in Sahel, U.N. says
West African and International powers are failing to tackle the spiraling threat of Islamist militancy in the Sahel region, which is spreading towards the Gulf of Guinea, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday, September 25th. Groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State have strengthened their foothold across the arid Sahel region this year, making large swathes of territory ungovernable and stoking ethnic violence, especially in Mali and Burkina Faso.
France, the former colonial power in the region, intervened in Mali in 2013 to drive out Islamist militants who had occupied the north, but rather than stabilizing the region, the situation has progressively worsened. “Let’s be clear, we are losing ground in the face of violence,” Guterres told a high-level panel on the sidelines of the United National General Assembly. “I know we are all very concerned about the continuing escalation of violence in the Sahel and its expansion to the Gulf of Guinea countries.” In July, the U.N. said Islamist attacks were spreading so fast in West Africa that the region should consider bolstering its response beyond current military efforts.
Nigeria: Mercy Corps suspends northeast Nigeria work after army shuts offices
International aid agency Mercy Corps on Wednesday, September 25th suspended its operations in two northeastern Nigerian states worst hit by Islamist insurgents after the army closed four of its offices in the region, the organization said. Last week the army closed the office of another international aid agency – Action Against Hunger – in the region after accusing it of aiding the Boko Haram and Islamic State armed groups, which the government says are terrorist organizations.
“Mercy Corps is suspending operations in Borno and Yobe States, Nigeria, following the closure of four of our field offices by the Nigerian military,” said Amy Fairbairn, its head of media and communications, in a statement. “We have not yet received an official reason from the Nigerian authorities for the closure and we are seeking to work with them to resolve this as soon as possible,” said Fairbairn, adding that Mercy Corps’ work in other parts of Nigeria would continue uninterrupted. A military source and an aid worker at the organization, both speaking on condition of anonymity, said the army closed the offices on Wednesday after troops said they had found 29 million naira ($94,771) in cash being transported in northeastern Borno state by a driver who said the money belonged to Mercy Corps.
Sierra Leone: many feared dead after building collapses
At least 50 people are missing and feared dead after a three-story building under construction collapsed Wednesday in Bo, Sierra Leone’s second largest city.
The builders were working on the three-storey block when it collapsed, Assistant Inspector General of Police Saidu Kamara said that 82 people had reported for work to concrete on the third floor of the building but so far 10 people have been rescued and taken to the hospital. A builder who left the site to get some food just before the collapse told the BBC he thought that at least 50 of his colleagues could have been at the building at the time.
Libya: Libyan strongman Haftar says open to dialogue
Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, whose forces have been battling to capture the seat of the UN-recognized government in Tripoli since April, has said he is open to dialogue after repeatedly rejecting UN calls for talks.
“When all is said and done, we need dialogue and we need to sit down at the negotiating table,” Haftar, who leads the self-styled Libyan National Army and has united territory in the east of the country in 2011, said in a statement issued on Wednesday night on the eve of a special session on Libya on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. Haftar stressed however that dialogue was “not possible so long as terrorist groups and criminal militias control Tripoli,” a reference to the myriad of militias that back the Government of National Accord.
He welcomed the special session to be co-chaired by France and Italy in New York later Thursday, saying that he hoped it would come up with “proposals that serve Libya’s interests and at the same time restore security and stability.” Earlier this month, Haftar, whose forces control eastern Libya and most of the far-flung oases and oilfields of the desert south, rejected a UN call for renewed peace talks, saying that a military solution was the best way of bringing the conflict to an end.
Hundreds of captives, many boys in chains, freed in Nigeria
More than 300 men and boys have been rescued from a ‘house of torture’ Islamic boarding school where they were detained and raped by staff for years in Kaduna, Nigeria. Many were found chained up and the detainees, mostly children, said they had been tortured, sexually abused, starved and prevented from leaving.
Police raided a building in the city on Thursday where the victims were kept in ‘the most debasing and inhuman conditions in the name of teaching them the Koran and reforming them’, a police spokesperson said. The school which has been operating for a decade, enrolled students brought by their families to learn the Koran and be rehabilitated from drug abuse and other illnesses. The proprietor of the school and six staff were arrested during the raid.
Sabo said: ‘The victims were abused. Some of them said they were sodomised by their teachers. Police had been tipped off by complaints from local residents who became suspicious of what was happening inside the school. During the raid on the school, police said they found a ‘torture chamber’ where students were chained, hung and beaten. Sabo said the victims were of different nationalities and that ‘two of them said during interrogation they were brought by their parents from Burkina Faso’.
The identities of the rescued victims were being documented to determine where they came from and to contact their families. Parents of some of the victims from within the city, contacted by police were ‘shocked and horrified’ when they saw the condition of their children, as they had no idea what was happening inside the school. Parents were allowed to visit their children every three months, but only in select areas of the premises. ‘They were not allowed into the house to see what was happening… the children are only brought to them outside to meet them,’ Sabo said. ‘All they thought was their children are being taught the Koran and good manners as they looked subdued,’ he added.
The owner of the school said all they do is teach people Islam and said the allegations of torture and sexual assault are false, despite acknowledging people were in chains. He said: ‘They don’t do anything other than recitation of Qur’an, pray and worship God. ‘Those chained are the stubborn ones who attempt running away. Those who don’t attempt running away are not chained. Some were chained before and after settling down, they were freed.’ They were taken to a stadium to be looked after while police make attempts to find their families.
Authorities said the freed captives will be given medical and psychological examinations.
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