Wednesday 23 August 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
The UN voiced alarm Wednesday at the many Nigerian refugees returning from Cameroon to Banki, a border town clouded by Boko Haram violence and already struggling with overstretched supplies and services. "I am extremely worried that large numbers of Nigerian refugees hosted in Cameroon are again returning to northeast Nigeria - into a situation dangerously unprepared to receive them," UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi said in a statement. The Nigerian military recaptured Banki in September 2015 after fierce battles with the Islamist militants, whose insurgency has killed at least 20,000 in Nigeria alone since 2009. On June 1, UNHCR had said that more than 12,000 refugees had returned to the area in May alone...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including Saudi-born Salafism and Wahhabism, form the ideological bedrock for most terror groups. According to a study by Leif Wenar of King’s College London based on the Global Terrorism Database, three out of four terror attacks in the last 10 years...
(Voice of America 06/20/17)
YAOUNDE — Cameroon has detained 30 of its soldiers fighting Boko Haram in the northern part of the country. The Defense Ministry says the soldiers abandoned their positions in a protest over pay and working conditions. Military officials in Cameroon say the incident happened earlier this month. Several dozen Cameroonian soldiers erected barricades near the country's border with Nigeria and asked to be immediately replaced. The soldiers were part of the Multinational Joint Task Force fighting Boko Haram since 2015. Colonel Didier Badjeck, spokesperson of Cameroon's military, said the protest was "unacceptable." He said so far 30 of the soldiers who took part have been arrested. He said the minister of defense gave instructions that the protesters should be arrested...
(Voice of America 06/19/17)
YAOUNDE — In Cameroon, the case of a bishop found dead earlier this month has sparked calls for a wider investigation into what the country's Catholic authorities say has been a string of suspicious clergy deaths. Two other priests were also found dead in the past month. Worshipers at a Catholic church in Oveng, on the outskirts of Yaounde, held a memorial service for Jean Marie Benoit Bala. Oveng is Bishop Bala's birth place. The 59-year-old bishop disappeared from his residence in Bafia, central Cameroon, on May 31. His car was found the next day 60 kilometers away on the bridge over the Sanaga river. A note found in the car said “Je suis dans l’eau” — “I am in...
(AFP (eng) 06/19/17)
Arturo Vidal's late header helped Chile to a 2-0 win over Cameroon in their Confederations Cup Group B opener in Moscow on Sunday, as the video assistant referee played a prominent role. Chile dominated an entertaining, but goalless, first half as Eduardo Vargas saw his strike ruled out by the video assistant. The Copa America champions had to wait until the 81st minute though to find a breakthrough, which was provided by a flying header from Bayern Munich midfielder Vidal. Vargas, who missed a host of earlier chances, added a second in added time after another video review. The victory gave Chile a perfect start to their maiden Confederations Cup campaign, after they qualified by successfully defending their Copa America...
(AfricaNews 06/19/17)
Cameroon, the African champions were handed a losing start to their Confederations Cup campaign which kicked off in Russia over the weekend. The Indomitable Lions lost 2 – 0 to Chile (Copa America champions) thanks to late goals from Auturo Vidal and Eduardo Vargas. The South American champions were however denied an earlier goal after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) ruled out a legitimate goal by Vargas on the stroke of halftime. Hugo Broos’ side next take on Australia on Thursday in a match they have to win to keep alive their chances of progressing. The 2017 African Nations Championship winners are in Group B, with Germany, the reigning world champions. Chile two-time winner of the Copa America and Australia...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
Two civilians have been killed in a suicide attack in Cameroon's restive Far North, an area regularly targeted by Boko Haram jihadists, local sources told AFP early Friday. The incident, which took place on Thursday evening, saw a female bomber entering Limani on the border with Nigeria and blowing herself up "behind the town's public school," a source close to the security services said. "There were three people killed: two civilians and the bomber," the source said. Details of the attack were confirmed to AFP by a member of the local vigilance committee. In recent weeks, the restive Far North region has seen a resurgence in Boko Haram attacks after months of relative calm. Last week, a soldier was killed...
(BBC News Africa 06/16/17)
Cameroon will be driven by the memory of Marc Vivien-Foe when they contest the Confederations Cup for the first time since the midfielder's death. Foe died after collapsing on the pitch during the 2003 semi-final against Colombia in France. The 28-year-old was later found to have suffered from a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The Indomitable Lions will end their 14-year absence from the Confederations Cup when Fifa's World Cup dress rehearsal kicks off this weekend. Cameroon open their Group B campaign against Copa America winners Chile on Sunday 18 June, in Moscow, before meeting Asian champions Australia four days later and then the world champions themselves, Germany, on 25 June. Despite the passage of time, the memory of Foe...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
A Roman Catholic bishop whose body was found in a river in central Cameroon early this month was "brutally murdered" and did not commit suicide, his peers said in a statement. "We, bishops of Cameroon, affirm that Monsignor Jean Marie Benoit Bala did not commit suicide; he was brutally assassinated," the church leaders said in a statement obtained Wednesday by AFP. They said after meeting to discuss "the heinous and unbearable crime" that the bishop's death was "yet another murder, a murder too many." The body of the 58-year-old bishop of Bafia, in the centre of the country, was fished out of the Sanaga river on June 2, more than 48 hours after he was reported missing. His car had...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said. "We spent four days in the desert. People died of thirst and the sun in the back of the truck." They finally arrived on the beach at Sabrata, 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Libya's capital Tripoli, a key departure...
(Voice of America 06/13/17)
Suicide bombers attacked two border towns and a military base in northern Cameroon over the weekend, according to local officials. The violence is part of a recent string of attacks in the border area attributed to militant group Boko Haram. Five suicide bombers crossed from Nigeria into the Mayo Sava division of northern Cameroon on Saturday, said Babila Akao, the most senior government official in that area. He told VOA by phone that the bombers were targeting the towns of Mora and Kolofata, but only two were able to detonate their vests. During an emergency security meeting the day before the attack, Akao said, soldiers and members of the local self-defense groups had been deployed to control the northern entrance...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Uche's real journey had yet to begin but he had already spent four days in the northern Nigerian city of Kano after travelling on public buses and potholed roads from Imo state in the southeast. He planned to go to Agadez, a transit town on the southern edge of the Sahara desert in central Niger, take a truck to Sebha, in southwestern Libya, and from there to the capital Tripoli, and then to Italy or Spain. But his contact, who was supposed to drive him and three women across Nigeria's northern border, was arrested on suspicion of people smuggling. "His house had been under surveillance," explains the 38-year-old electrician in Kano's bustling Sabon Gari district. "The movement of the three...
(AFP (eng) 06/12/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will on Monday meet African leaders in Berlin on initiatives aiming to reduce the poverty and conflict driving a mass migrant influx to Europe. The idea is to team up African nations willing to reform with private investors who would bring business and jobs to a continent where instability or graft often scare off foreign companies. Merkel is hosting the initiative as part of Germany's presidency of the Group of 20 powerful economies, whose leaders meet in the northern port of Hamburg a month later. Invited to Berlin are Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the leaders of Ghana, Ivory Coast...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/08/17)
More girls are completing secondary school across sub-Saharan Africa as attitudes change and state spending rises, but some of the most marginalized girls — like those married young or forced to work — are still missing out, education experts say. The percentage of girls completing secondary school has risen in all regions of Africa since 2005, said a recent report by the African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the U.N. Development Program. Almost twice as many girls in East Africa and three times as many in Central Africa completed secondary education in 2014 as in 2005, according to the annual African Economic Outlook report, which was published at the end of last month. Yet more...
(AFP (eng) 06/07/17)
Cameroon military tribunal decided on Wednesday to remand in custody leaders of the country's English-speaking community on terror-related charges pending trial. The Yaounde tribunal refused to free on bail lawyer Felix Agbor Nkongho, teacher Neba Fontem Aforteka'a and broadcaster Mancho Bibixy, pending a June 29 trial, an AFP journalist reported. The court's presiding judge also rejected an appeal for the release of 24 other anglophones facing charges over "acts of terrorism" and complicity to commit such acts. All charges are punishable by death.
(Reuters (Eng) 06/07/17)
Building a network of African women leaders in fields ranging from business to politics could galvanize female leadership across the continent and boost peacebuilding efforts and good governance, the head of U.N. Women said on Tuesday. The African Women Leaders Network, which was launched last week in New York by the United Nations and the African Union Commission, hopes to drive more women into leadership roles, through mentoring, peer learning and harnessing contacts. By supporting women's leadership in Africa, the platform aims to galvanize their contributions to building and sustaining peace, improving political processes and driving social change, and realizing the U.N. global goals, according to U.N. Women. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), adopted in 2015, include targets on...
(AFP (eng) 06/06/17)
Around 30 Cameroonian soldiers fighting the Nigerian jihadist group Boko Haram were arrested after a demonstration to demand the payment of bonuses and some leave, the defence ministry said Monday. The soldiers on Sunday "set about stopping traffic with barricades on national route number one," the ministry said in a statement broadcast on state radio. The men were demanding that they be immediately relieved from duty, as well as "the payment of bonuses for 'international soldiers' in line with those granted to their comrades from UN peace keeping missions," the statement said.
(Voice of America 06/06/17)
Hundreds of internally displaced persons in northern Cameroon are deserting camps near the Nigerian border, saying they no longer feel safe after a series of suicide bombings. The Kolofata central mosque on Cameroon's northern border with Nigeria is now a sanctuary for 70 people who began escaping a nearby IDP camp last Friday, after two suicide bombers disguised as refugees begged for food and blew themselves up. Nearly a dozen people, including the bombers, were killed and 30 people were wounded. Forty-year-old Samari Bakassia lost his wife in the attack. Bakassia says he fled the IDP camp with their two-month-old baby because their safety could not be guaranteed. He says they are scared and are now relying only on God...

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