Monday 21 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 07/04/17)
Boko Haram jihadists have kidnapped 37 women and slit the throats of nine other people at a village in southeastern Niger, the regional governor said Tuesday. The attack happened on Sunday at the village of Ngalewa, near the border with Nigeria, the governor of Diffa region, Laouali Mahamane Dan Dano, told state TV. "Boko Haram elements... slit the throats of nine people... they took women, 37 women, and departed with them," he said. "The defence and security forces are already in pursuit, and we hope that in the coming days these women will be found and freed," he said. The governor, who went to Ngalewa on Monday, said the village had been singled out because it was known for its...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
Officials in Niger say suspected Boko Haram militants have killed nine people and abducted dozens more in an attack on a southern town. Local officials said Monday that the gunmen came into the village of Ngalewa, near the country's border with Nigeria, on camels and horses. They said the militants took around 30-40 people, mostly women and children, late Sunday and threatened to hold them until other extremists are released from prison. The town is near the city of Diffa, where another attack took place on Wednesday, also blamed on Boko Haram militants. In that incident, two suicide bombers blew themselves up in a refugee camp in the town, killing two other people and injuring 11. Boko Haram's insurgency began...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...
(AFP (eng) 07/03/17)
Nine people were killed and dozens kidnapped after an attack in southeastern Niger by suspected members of Boko Haram, local authorities said Monday. The attack happened Sunday night, between 2100-2200 GMT. "About 30 to 40 women and children were taken by the assailants," local mayor Abari El Hadj Daouda told AFP, adding that Nigerien authorities were headed to the area to investigate. The attack took place in Kabalewa, a village near the southeastern Niger city of Diffa, which is close to Nigeria -- the second such attack in the village in a week. On Wednesday, two women bombers blew themselves up in a refugee camp...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/03/17)
Suspected Boko Haram Islamist militants killed nine people and abducted dozens more in southern Niger on Sunday night, the local mayor and a journalist said. The attackers rode camels into the village of Ngalewa, about 50 km (30 miles) north of the border with Nigeria - home of the Boko Haram insurgency - said Maman Nour, the director of a community radio station in the nearby town of Kabelawa. "They killed nine people and they kidnapped around 30," said Nour, who had spoken to fleeing villagers. Abba Gata Issa, mayor of the district, confirmed the nine dead and said around 40 women and children had been kidnapped. Boko Haram launches frequent cross-border raids from its strongholds in northeastern Nigeria and...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/03/17)
African powers launched a new multinational military force to tackle Islamist militants in the Sahel on Sunday, which French President Emmanuel Macron told a regional summit should be fully operational by the autumn despite its current budget shortfall. Some observers see the initiative of the G5 Sahel bloc - Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad - as forming the basis of an eventual exit strategy for around 4,000 French troops now deployed to the volatile region. But Macron said Paris had no plans to withdraw them. Islamist militant groups, some with links to al Qaeda, seized control of Mali's desert north in 2012. Though they were driven back a year later by a French-led military intervention, they continue to...
(The Associated Press 07/03/17)
BAMAKO, Mali (AP) -- France's president on Sunday promised strong support for a new multinational military force against extremists in Africa's vast Sahel region, saying the "terrorists, thugs and assassins" need to be eradicated. President Emmanuel Macron, meeting in Mali with leaders from the five regional countries involved, said France will provide military support for operations as well as 70 tactical vehicles and communications, operations and protective equipment. The 5,000-strong force will be deployed by September, and its funding will be finalized by then, Macron said at a press conference. The leaders of Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad - known as the G5 - must clarify their roles and contributions for the force to attract more support from...
(AFP (eng) 07/02/17)
French President Emmanuel Macron, making a lightning visit to Mali, on Sunday threw his weight behind a planned Sahel force to fight jihadists but told countries their efforts had to bear fruit. The so-called "G5 Sahel" countries -- Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- have pledged to set up a joint force to combat the wave of Islamist bombings, shootings and kidnappings south of the Sahara. Macron, joining the heads of state in the Malian capital Bamako for a special summit, hailed the initiative as "a dynamic, a groundswell which France is proud to back". But, he said, "it will be up to you and your armed forces to demonstrate that the G5 can be effective, while respecting...
(AFP (eng) 06/30/17)
Two women bombers blew themselves up in a refugee camp in southeastern Niger, killing two other people in a suspected attack by Boko Haram Islamists from neighbouring Nigeria. Boko Haram's insurgency began in northeast Nigeria and has spread to Chad, Cameroon and Niger, claiming more than 20,000 lives and displacing 2.6 million people. They are increasingly staging suicide attacks using women and girls. Wednesday's attack took place in Kabalewa, a village near the southeastern Niger city of Diffa, which is close to Nigeria. "Two women suicide bombers infiltrated the refugee camp and blew themselves up, killing two civilians in the camp," an aid worker said.
(Reuters (Eng) 06/30/17)
Bombers killed two people and wounded 11 others at a U.N.-managed camp in Niger housing thousands of people who have fled Boko Haram violence in the first suicide attack in the region in a year, the U.N. refugee agency said on Friday. Two women entered the camp in Kabelawa, around 50 km (30 miles) north of the border with Nigeria, and joined a group of young people before detonating suicide belts just before midnight on Wednesday. "The explosion killed two young inhabitants of the camp, a male and a female, as well as the two women. 11 others were injured, two seriously," the UNHCR said in a statement. Boko Haram launches frequent cross-border raids from its strongholds in northeastern Nigeria...
(AFP (eng) 06/30/17)
President Emmanuel Macron is due in Mali on Sunday to consolidate Western backing for a regional anti-jihadist force, as France beefs up its counter-terror operations in the area. The so-called "G5 Sahel" countries just south of the Sahara -- Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- have pledged to fight jihadists on their own soil, as instability and Islamist attacks rise. With its base in Sevare, central Mali, the 5,000-strong G5 Sahel force aims to bolster the 12,000 UN peacekeepers and France's own 4,000-strong military operation known as Barkhane operating in the region. Macron will attend a summit on July 2 with leaders of the African nations involved, "marking a new step" as the force is formally launched, a...
(AFP (eng) 06/30/17)
Some 600 West African migrants heading for Europe have been saved since April from the Niger desert after being abandoned by smugglers, the International Organization for Migration said Thursday. The announcement came after the presumed deaths of dozens in the same area last week alone and hundreds more fatalities off the coast of Libya. "IOM's search and rescue operation saved 600 migrants stranded in the Sahara desert since April," the group said on its website. The last part of the operation saw 24 migrants lifted -- one died later -- last week and transferred to an IOM transit centre...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/30/17)
President Emmanuel Macron heads to Mali on Sunday to throw France's weight behind a new West African military force he hopes will lay the basis for an exit strategy for its own troops; but its prospects for success look slim. Mali is hosting a heads of state summit with Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania - known as the G5 Sahel - who could ultimately deploy thousands of troops into the vast, arid Sahel region that remains a breeding ground for militants and traffickers that Paris considers a threat to Europe. Four years after intervening in its former colony to ward off a jihadist offensive, there is no sign of France withdrawing its 4,000-strong regional Barkhane contingent as they, alongside...
(RFI 06/30/17)
French troops will work with the new force from five Sahel countries fighting armed Islamists in west and central Africa, Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced Thursday. "This force is first going to secure the borders, particularly in the areas where terrorist groups have developed," the newly appointed minister said in an interview with Le Monde newspaper. "Accompanying them is the priority for the Barkhane operation." France has deployed soldiers in the region since January 2013, when it spearheaded an international military initiative against Al-Qaeda jihadist groups allied to Tuareg separatists occupying northern Mali. Whole areas are still beyond the control of the Malian, French and UN forces working in the sub-Saharan region. Deadly attacks and tense relations have...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/28/17)
Over 50 African migrants are feared dead in the Sahara desert of northern Niger on Tuesday after being abandoned by their drivers, aid workers and local officials said on Tuesday. A convoy of three pick-up trucks were transporting over 70 migrants north through the Sahara Desert towards Libya -- a typical route for West Africans seeking to reach Europe -- when the drivers abandoned them. Twenty-three of the migrants survived after walking to a nearby town for help, the International Organization for Migration said in a press release on Tuesday, which said the survivors came from Nigeria, Gambia, Ivory Coast and Senegal. A local official told Reuters that of the remaining 52, at least 15 were known to have died...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...
(AFP (eng) 06/27/17)
Twenty-four West African migrants were rescued and dozens more feared dead after traffickers deserted them in Niger's northern desert without food or water, a senior local official said Monday. The migrants rescued on Sunday were part of a group of "70 people who had left in three vehicles from Agadez for Libya," Fatoumi Boudou, the prefect of the northern region of Bilma. Agadez is a remote town in Niger on the edge of the Sahara that has become the smuggling capital of Africa. The traffickers "abandoned them in the middle of the desert without food or water," he said, adding that those rescued had spoken of several dead bodies without specifying a number.
(The Associated Press 06/27/17)
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) -- The International Organization for Migration says 51 migrants are presumed dead in the Sahara Desert in Niger after smugglers abandoned them during their journey north to Libya. The group said Tuesday that some 24 migrants from Gambia, Nigeria, Senegal and Ivory Coast alerted authorities days ago that they had been stranded. The organization said the survivors were taken to Seguedine, where one died. They will be transferred to the Dirkou center Tuesday. The survivors said they were in a group of 75 taking three different cars. The organization said authorities are searching for the 51 bodies after sand storms. IOM says it has saved more than 600 migrants since April 2016 in Niger, which is a...
(BBC News Africa 06/27/17)
Fifty-two migrants have been found dead in the deserts of central Niger, near Séguédine. A group of 75 set out in three vehicles but were abandoned by traffickers, who feared the security forces. A local official told the BBC that dozens of bodies had been buried, and 23 survivors were taken to the town, although one later died. African migrants travel through the desert aiming to reach Libya and cross the Mediterranean to Europe. However, the journey is perilous as the migrants are crammed into pick-up trucks and have few supplies. Read more at: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-40408599

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