Wednesday 18 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/27/18)
Four leading opposition and rights figures are being held in Niger prisons following a banned weekend demonstration that turned violent in the capital Niamey, media reports said Tuesday. They were among 23 people arrested after the protest Sunday against new taxes degenerated into clashes between demonstrators and police. Officials of the Collectif d'ONG, an association of grassroots groups that organised the protest, said those in custody had been charged with organising and taking part in a banned march and "abetting damage to public and private property".
(AFP (eng) 03/27/18)
Police in Niger have arrested 23 people after a demonstration against new taxes in one of the world's poorest nations turned violent, the interior minister said Monday. The arrests came after a protest on Sunday, Bazoum Mohamed told AFP, adding that the organisers had defied a ban and then clashed with the police. "They incited (the public) and disrupted public order and were arrested for rebellion for describing the ban as illegal," he said. A radio and television network owned by Ali Idrissa, one of four leading civil society members arrested, was also closed on Sunday.
(AFP (eng) 03/26/18)
At least five civilians were killed and several others wounded in an attack by suspected Boko Haram militants in southeast Niger, near the border with Nigeria, according to local sources. "The BH (Boko Haram) came to the market place early Friday evening, they shot the crowd and took food," said a resident of Toummour, in the southwest Diffa region, which was targeted by the attack. A local official on Sunday confirmed the toll of "five dead, all civilians", adding that...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/18)
Ministers from 13 African and European countries held talks along with the EU on Friday on cracking down on migrant traffickers, with France calling for firmer action on smuggling networks in African countries. French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb called on counterparts in the Nigerien capital Niamey to take action "as close as possible to the countries of origin and transit of migrants." Niger, one of the large nations lying south of the Sahara in West Africa, has become one of...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
The EU warned African and other countries on Wednesday that their citizens will find it harder to get visas to Europe if they refuse to readmit economic migrants under the bloc's efforts to curb migration. Brussels has been seeking greater cooperation from such countries to take back irregular migrants since Europe was hit in 2015 with its worst migration crisis since World War II. "I cannot understand how a country can refuse to take back its nationals" when they have...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/18)
Three police were killed in western Niger in a border region that has come under repeated attack from jihadists, local media reported Tuesday. "It's the police station in the village of Goube which was targeted," the commercial radio station Saraounia said, adding that a fourth policeman was wounded. Anfani FM, another Niger radio station, gave the same toll. A security source said "there were fatalities" from Monday night's attack in Tillaberi region, but did not provide details. Goube, located about...
(AFP (eng) 03/05/18)
Burkina and French investigators on Monday pushed ahead with a probe into deadly jihadist attacks last week suspected to have aimed at a major anti-terror meeting. Forensic teams were at work at the scenes of last Friday's twin attack in Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou, and two suspects were being questioned, sources said. The operation, using guns and a car bomb, aimed at the country's military headquarters and the French embassy. Nine assailants and seven soldiers were killed and at least...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/18)
It sounds like something from Wakanda, the futuristic African kingdom of the hit movie "Black Panther". But "Transaqua" is a very real proposal for a very real problem -- how to replenish the shrinking waters of Lake Chad. It imagines a 2,600-km (1,600-mile) canal from the Democratic Republic of Congo across the Central African Republic to meet the Chari River that feeds into the freshwater lake. Lake Chad -- where the borders of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria meet --...
(AFP (eng) 02/26/18)
Experts gathered in Nigeria's capital on Monday to discuss ways to stop Africa's Lake Chad from drying up, after years of environmental decline that has hit livelihoods and security. The two-day conference, organised by the government in Abuja and the Lake Chad Basin Commission, aims to "save the lake from extinction", according to UNESCO, which is backing the talks. A $6.5-million (5.3-million-euro) research and conservation programme will involve Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, whose borders meet on the lake, as well as the Central African Republic. Troops from Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria are fighting a battle against Boko Haram jihadists in the remote region.
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
Nigeria's Boko Haram, suspected of another mass kidnapping of school girls, started out as an Islamic anti-corruption group but mutated into an IS affiliate waging a lethal insurgency. - Fundamentalist - Boko Haram aims to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria -- a campaign that has cost at least 20,000 lives since 2009 and at its peak displaced 2.6 million from their homes. The name loosely translates from the Hausa language as "Western education is forbidden". Founder and spiritual leader Mohammed Yusuf pinned the blame for Nigeria's ills on Western values left by colonial master Britain, criticised the country's corrupt secular regime for neglecting development in Muslim regions and advocated...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
The European Union is to double its funding for a joint African military force to fight jihadists in the Sahel region with a 50-million-euro boost, EU sources said Wednesday. The bloc is expected to announce the new money for the G5 Sahel force, grouping Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, at talks in Brussels on Friday which will be attended by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The move comes as a surge in rebel attacks has underscored the challenge facing the five countries, among the poorest in the world, which are on the frontline of a war against Islamist militants.
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Privately-run newspapers and radio and TV channels in Niger protested on Monday over a tax audit that they said sought to "stifle" the country's independent media. Media owners last week said they had been advised that inspectors would carry out a check on tax for which they were liable from from 2014 to 2017, as well as the coming tax year. At least five broadcasting groups in Niamey halted their programming on Monday morning, with three TV stations leaving a protest message on screens reading, "Stop the murder of Niger's independent press." Media owners issued a joint statement on Sunday to attack what they called
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron,...
(AFP (eng) 01/31/18)
The UN refugee agency appealed on Wednesday for $157 million (126 million euros) to help over a quarter of a million people affected by the insurgency led by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram. The UNHCR, acting with more than 40 other agencies, said it needed to help 208,000 Nigerian refugees and 75,000 of their hosts in Niger, Cameroon and Chad, where infrastructure has been strained by the influx. Since 2013, the Boko Haram conflict has internally displaced another 2.4...
(AFP (eng) 01/30/18)
At least two soldiers were killed overnight while fighting off an attack by suspected Boko Haram jihadists in southeast Niger, a source in the security forces said Tuesday. "It was an audacious attack repelled by our valiant defence and security forces who lost two men all the same," the source told AFP on condition of anonymity. The insurgents from neighbouring Nigeria "came aboard about a dozen vehicles" early Monday evening to attack a National Guard outpost near Chetimari, a village...
(AFP (eng) 01/27/18)
The US military has opened an investigation after images surfaced online this week that appear to have been taken from the helmet camera of one of the US soldiers killed in an ambush in Niger. Grainy photographs posted and circulated on Twitter purportedly show a soldier in US uniform lying on the dry-earthen ground, a US flag patch on his chest. The image looks like it was recorded from another soldier's helmet camera. The exact provenance of the photos is murky, but the original Twitter account to post the pictures said they had been collected by an Islamic State affiliate.
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/18)
Two policemen have been killed and seven wounded in an attack in southwest Niger, local media reported Wednesday. It was not clear if the attack overnight Monday-Tuesday near the village of Kokoloukou, in Tillaberi region bordering Burkina Faso, was the work of jihadists or armed bandits. A local resident confirmed the attack to AFP but was unable to give a toll. The area has not previously suffered any jihadist attacks, but armed gangs sometimes abduct wealthy traders for ransom. The Boko Haram jihadist group launched an insurgency in northeast Nigeria in 2009 that in 2015 spilled into Niger.
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/18)
KLEINARL, Austria (Reuters) - The chilly conditions on an Austrian mountainside belied the warm reception given to people from 15 African countries who took part in an annual luge race aimed at helping migrants integrate into European society. The event over the weekend, dubbed the African Winter Sports Cup, is a luge race contested by people with little or no experience of winter sports. Its aim, over the six years it has been held, is to promote social integration through...

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