Tuesday 27 June 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Millions of children across the Lake Chad basin are prey to deadly water-borne diseases such as cholera and hepatitis E as the rainy season hits a region already reeling from Boko Haram's insurgency, the United Nations said on Friday. More than 5.6 million children in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, many of whom have been uprooted by violence and live in host communities or refugee camps, are facing the disease threat as the rains arrive, said the U.N. children's agency (UNICEF). Flooding and muddy roads are expected to limit aid access to remote areas, where hunger is growing and food is lacking, while the insecurity has made it hard to...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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,...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/02/17)
Two suicide bombers killed nine other people and wounded 30 on Friday near a camp in northern Cameroon housing civilians displaced by Nigeria's Boko Haram militants, the region's governor and other officials said. The bombers - both men - entered the town of Kolofata, around 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the border with Nigeria, before dawn on Friday, posing as refugees looking for food before the start of the daytime fast for Ramadan. "Once among the population, they detonated their explosives, one after the other. The official death toll is 1l, including the two suicide bombers, and 30 wounded," Mindjiyawa Bakary
(Xinhuanet 06/02/17)
Fifty-four African Union member states will convene the 5th Continental Conference of Solidarity with Cuba in the Namibian capital from June 5-7, said an Naminian official on Thursday. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of International relations and Cooperation, Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, said the aim of hosting the conference in Namibia is to intensify solidarity and to strengthen bounds of friendship between the people of Cuba and the progressive peoples throughout the African Continent. Namibia's President Hage Geingob will open and...
(Vanguard 06/01/17)
Tens of thousands of Nigerian refugees in Cameroon have decried their living conditions in camps in Cameroon, lamenting that the federal government has abandoned them. The refugees said they would rather return home to engage in economic activities that would guarantee their survival than continue to depend on humanitarian gestures to survive. Wondering whether federal government had not forgotten them, the refugees, who were displaced from their homelands in the insurgency-ravaged North East, said their food ration had been drastically...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
One in five children born with a twin sibling in sub-Saharan Africa dies before the age of five -- three times the rate among singletons, said a study Thursday. Almost two-thirds die in the first month of life -- often succumbing to the after-effects of a difficult birth or entering the world too early or underweight, according to research published in The Lancet medical journal. And while rates of under-five deaths in the sub-Saharan African region have declined over two...

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