Tuesday 24 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/19/18)
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will not attend the African Union summit in Rwanda this week, an official statement said Sunday, in a blow to plans to launch a major free trade treaty across 54 countries. The meeting in Kigali is intended to formally launch the African Continental Free Trade Area Treaty, which Nigeria's cabinet endorsed last Wednesday. Buhari was scheduled to leave Abuja on Monday ahead of Wednesday's launch but pulled out to allow for more consultations. "Mr President will no longer be travelling to Kigali for the event because certain key stakeholders in Nigeria indicated that they had not been consulted, for which reasons they had some concerns on the provisions of the treaty," the statement said.
(AFP (eng) 03/19/18)
Suspected Boko Haram jihadists killed five fishermen on a remote island in northeastern Nigeria for aiding the search for dozens of schoolgirls kidnapped last month by the jihadists, a local official said Saturday. "Five men who went fishing near the border with Chad were shot dead," said Abubakar Gamandi, president of the fisheries union in Borno state, where the killings occurred. He said the attack happened on Tudun Umbrella island in Lake Chad, which borders Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon. Members of the militant Islamist group stormed the Government Girls Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe state, in February, taking 110 girls with them as they fled. The Dapchi kidnapping rekindled painful memories of a similar mass abduction by Boko...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/18)
Nigeria was on Friday urged to re-open investigations into 89 oil spills in its southern delta region, after claims that Shell and ENI misreported the causes. Rights group Amnesty International said there were "reasonable doubts" about how the spills happened, suggesting corrosion rather than oil theft were behind the pollution. A total of 46 spills came from pipelines operated by Shell's local subsidiary, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, and 43 from ENI's Nigerian Agip Oil Company, it added. The call was made after crowd-sourced analysis of the companies' publicly available documents on pipeline failures in the Niger Delta in the last seven years to December 2017. Activists who pored over reports found that since Shell began publishing details...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/18)
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday visited the northeastern town of Dapchi, nearly a month after Boko Haram militants kidnapped 110 schoolgirls in a chilling echo of the Chibok abduction four years ago. Buhari was given a red carpet welcome at the Government Girls Science and Technology College, which was attacked on February 19, before meeting parents, teachers and residents. He told them the military and security services were working around the clock to bring back the girls and vowed to punish those responsible for both Dapchi and the Chibok kidnapping in April 2014. "This abduction Boko Haram carried out and the one they did before we came to power, in 2014, we will not allow them to go scot-free,"...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/18)
At least two soldiers were killed Wednesday in renewed violence between herders and farmers in central Nigeria's Plateau state days after similar violence killed 25 in unrest linked to land, water and grazing rights. Troops were deployed to contain the fresh clashes between Fulani herders and farmers from Irigwe ethnic group in Bassa district, a military spokesman told reporters, as bloodshed continued in the region despite a round-the-clock curfew imposed to stem the fighting. "We lost two of our men, two others were injured and are receiving treatment in hospital," said Major Umar Adamu. Many people from the two warring sides were "feared killed" in the violence, which left scores of homes burnt, he said. The violence was believed to...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
Nigeria's president, in a visit to the country's troubled northeast, on Monday predicted success in what he described as relentless efforts to release more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram. The jihadists are still holding 112 of the 219 students they abducted from the Borno state town of Chibok in April 2014, and also 110 pupils taken from Dapchi, in Yobe state, in February. On a visit to the Yobe state capital, Damaturu, President Muhammadu Buhari said he had "no doubt" the Dapchi girls would be rescued or released. "I can reassure parents, Nigerians and the international community that we will do all that is within our power to make sure that the girls are brought back safely to...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/14/18)
DAMATURU, Nigeria (Reuters) - Nigeria will not rest until the last girl kidnapped by Islamist militants has been released, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Wednesday. Buhari was speaking on a visit to Yobe, the northeastern state where some 110 girls were kidnapped from their school in the town of Dapchi by suspected members of Boko Haram last month, the most high-profile mass abduction since the 2014 kidnap of more than 270 schoolgirls from Chibok. “There will be no rest till the last girl, whether from Chibok and Dapchi, is released. The girls, like all our citizens, must enjoy unhindered freedom and pursue their legitimate aspirations,” Buhari said in a tweet from the presidency. Buhari, the 75-year-old former military ruler who...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
Herders are believed to have killed 25 villagers in central Nigeria's Plateau state, police said on Wednesday, in the latest violence linked to land, water and grazing rights. The killings happened on Monday in the Bassa area of Plateau state, just a few days after at least five people were killed in the area. "The people were returning to Zirechi (village) from Dundun when they were attacked by gunmen believed to be Fulani herdsmen," state police commissioner Undie Adie told AFP. "I can confirm that 25 villagers were killed while two were injured. A number of houses were also burnt down by the attackers," he said. No arrests have yet been made, he said, adding: "The terrain is mountainous. The...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/14/18)
ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari sacked the head of an amnesty programme for former militants in the country’s oil and gas-producing heartland, amid allegations of graft. Funding of the former Niger Delta militants under the 2009 amnesty has been key to maintaining relative stability in the southern region and preventing attacks on energy facilities in Africa’s biggest oil producer. Crude oil sales make up two-thirds of government revenue. But attacks resumed in 2016, contributing to pushing Africa’s biggest economy into recession that year as oil production was cut from a peak of 2.2 million barrels per day (mbpd) to near 1 mbpd, Nigeria’s lowest level for at least 30 years. Announcing the dismissal of Paul Boroh, a retired...
(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 entered Europe illegally, EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told a press conference in Brussels. "We will introduce stricter conditions for processing visas when a partner country does not cooperate sufficiently on the readmission of irregular migrants," Avramopoulos added. Under international...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/18)
The Bring Back Our Girls group on Tuesday accused the Nigerian government of "incompetence and carelessness" for the seizure of 110 girls by Boko Haram from their hostel in the restive northeast. The movement has been at the forefront of a campaign to free the 276 Chibok girls seized in a similar fashion in April 2014. It gave the government a seven-day deadline to free the remaining 112 Chibok girls and the 110 seized in Dapchi last month, or else face a lawsuit on the grounds of criminal negligence. "How terribly embarrassing it is that within four years since the abduction of 276 Chibok girls in April 2014 our country is again in the news for tragic reasons," the group...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/18)
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson brought his truncated maiden Africa trip to a close on Monday, promising the full backing of the United States to two countries on the frontline of the war on terror. Washington's top diplomat has been on a five-country tour of east and west Africa but was forced to cut short his visit "due to demands in (his) schedule", the State Department said. After stops in Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya, which were overshadowed by US President Donald Trump's surprise announcement on talks with North Korea, he squeezed visits to Chad and Nigeria into just one day. Before returning to Washington, Tillerson notably promised Nigeria support ranging from equipment to intelligence to help secure the swift release...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/18)
Nigeria is battling on two fronts against an unprecedented outbreak of Lassa fever, a cousin of Ebola, that has already killed 110 people this year. Even as doctors are grappling to contain the threat, health watchdogs are struggling to understand why the deadly virus has spread so dramatically. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed 353 Lassa cases since January 1, compared with 143 cases for the whole of 2017. But the possible reasons for this surge are many, said NCDC director Chikwe Ihekweazu. "The harder you look, the more you find," he said, citing a change in the virus's environment, viral mutation -- and better reporting of cases by the public in response to awareness campaigns. Lassa...
(AFP (eng) 03/12/18)
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday slammed last month's mass abduction of schoolgirls in northern Nigeria and promised Washington's "full support" in the country's fight against Boko Haram jihadists. "The recent kidnapping of 110 schoolgirls is heartbreaking," Tillerson said on his arrival in the capital Abuja on the final leg of an African tour. "Nigeria has the US in full support and we are actively working with our partners in what we can assist you in this fight." Tillerson, who was greeted by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, is on the final part of his first tour of Africa since becoming secretary of state.
(AFP (eng) 03/12/18)
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday was to shorten his maiden tour of Africa because of work, aides said. "Due to demands in the secretary's schedule he is returning to the US one day early, after concluding official meetings in Chad and Nigeria," Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein told the press. Tillerson, making his first trip to Africa as the senior-most US diplomat, has visited Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya since last Wednesday. He is due to fly from the Chadian capital of N'Djamena on Monday to the Nigerian capital Abuja, staying there for several hours before heading for home in the early evening. He had initially been scheduled to stay there overnight, hold further meetings on Tuesday with...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/18)
Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen have killed at least five people in central Nigeria's Plateau state, police said Saturday, in the latest violence linked to tensions over grazing rights. Thursday's attack happened just as President Muhammadu Buhari was rounding up a tour of Plateau and four other flashpoint states. "The gunmen were believed to be herdsmen. They attacked some communities in Miango district and killed five people," state police spokesman Terna Tyopev told AFP. He said dozens of people were injured while many houses and properties were destroyed in the mayhem. Local media said apart from the incident in Miango, six people were also killed at Ganda village in Bokkos local government area of the state. The police could not...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/18)
A suspension of humanitarian operations has been extended in a remote town in northeast Nigeria where three aid workers were killed in a Boko Haram attack, medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Saturday. MSF and the UN pulled out their staff from Rann, on the border with Cameroon in Borno state, after the attack on March 1. The UN suspended its activities for one week until Friday. But the suspension has now been extended until Tuesday next week at the earliest, the UN in Abuja said, while MSF said it had no timeline for a return. "We think that the entire area is not protected," the charity's emergency coordinator for Borno, Kerri Ann Kelly, told AFP. "Until there's...
(AFP (eng) 03/09/18)
Rural communities in Taraba state, eastern Nigeria, were on Friday on indefinite lockdown as the authorities tried to contain mounting violence between cattle herders and farmers. Police spokesman David Misal said a round-the-clock curfew has been imposed in affected areas "due to the escalation of violence between Fulani and Mambilla ethnic groups". Nigeria has been gripped since the start of the year with an increase in clashes between the largely nomadic herders and farmers over land, water and grazing rights. At least 10 people were killed in several days of violence in Taraba last week into the weekend, while some 24 lost their lives in the central state of Benue in the last few days. Misal said there were reports...
(AFP (eng) 03/09/18)
A Nigerian plane made an emergency landing in Ghana after smoke was detected in the cabin, officials said Friday, in the latest incident to hit domestic and foreign airline operators. The aircraft, owned by Arik Air, was travelling from Lagos to Accra on Tuesday when the fault was detected but no-one was hurt, a company statement said. "Arik Air flight W3 304 from Lagos to Accra on March 6, 2018 declared an emergency in line with standard operating procedures, when (an) unknown source of smoke was detected in the cabin", it said. The incident occurred 80 miles (130 kilometres) from the Ghanaian capital but the plane "landed safely in Accra without further incident", it said. It was the latest in...
(AFP (eng) 03/09/18)
A thousand artists from over 50 countries will gather in Ivory Coast on Saturday for a week-long festival of African music, theatre, dance, comedy, slam poetry and storytelling. The 10th edition of the biannual Market for African Performing Arts, known by its French initials as MASA, will mark the 25th anniversary of the event. This year's crop of artists come from all over Africa and the African diaspora in Japan, Haiti and Canada, performing in the economic capital Abidjan and five other cities, the organisers said. Artists include Ivorian jazz fusion drummer Paco Sery, traditionalist Malian singers P-Pentatonique and Cape Verde's Maria de Barros. MASA was launched in 1993 by the International Organisation of La Francophonie, which represents French-speaking countries...

Pages