Monday 19 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday warned about the dangers of political unrest as he met the new envoy from Togo, where there has been a wave of anti-government protests. Buhari did not specifically mention Togo as he received the newly appointed ambassador, Lene Dimban, at the presidential villa in the capital, Abuja. But according to his office, the president said "peaceful transitions" in Africa were now non-negotiable, because political crises had a drastic effect on the economy and people. The West African bloc ECOWAS was working "to prevent political transitions from snowballing into crisis so that citizens in the region can focus their energies and resources rather than trying to survive political upheavals"...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the interest of China to spy," AU commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said during a visit to Beijing, where he met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss deepening cooperation on a variety of issues, as well as opening a...
(AFP (eng) 02/06/18)
Ibrahim Babangida has become the latest former leader in Nigeria to criticise President Muhammadu Buhari, as elections approach and the incumbent is yet to confirm he will stand again. The man who once described himself as Nigeria's "evil genius" said in a statement issued on Sunday that "analogue" Buhari should make way for "digital" leaders. "There comes a time in life when personal ambition should not override national interest," he added. Babangida, who ousted Buhari as military ruler in a...
(AFP (eng) 02/06/18)
Nigeria on Monday assured Cameroon that it is determined to deal with secessionist forces attempting to use its territory to destabilise its West African neighbour. Last week, Nigeria extradited Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, leader of a Cameroonian anglophone separatist movement, and 46 of his supporters at Yaounde's request, sparking condemnation from the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR. But Nigeria's National Security Adviser Mohammed Monguno said at a trans-border security meeting in Abuja that extradition was ordered to preserve Cameroon's unity and sovereignty. "President Muhammadu Buhari assures you that we will take all the necessary measures...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Boko Haram fighters stormed a village in northeast Nigeria and murdered two civilians, while six people were killed in an attack in northern Cameroon, a local resident and security sources told AFP on Monday. The attacks came as Nigeria's military again maintained the jihadists had been defeated, and that its repeated raids and suicide bombings were "a sign of weakness". At least 20,000 people have been killed in nearly nine years of violence and more than 2.6 million made homeless,...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Nigeria's top judge handling corruption cases against public officials has himself been charged with bribery, court papers showed Saturday. Danladi Umar was accused by the country's anti-graft body EFCC of demanding 10 million naira (22,300 euros; $27,800) from a suspect "for a favour to be afterwards shown to him in relation to the pending charge", according to court papers seen by AFP. The embattled judge was also alleged to have received in 2012, through his personal assistant, the sum of...
(AFP (eng) 01/31/18)
Cameroonian paramilitaries have crossed into neighbouring Nigeria to conduct operations among citizens who have fled from Cameroon's restive anglophone regions, state sources said on Wednesday. The head of Cross River state emergency management agency, John Inaku, confirmed local press reports that gendarmes were in Danare village in the Boki area of the state early on Monday. "There were people coming in from the neighbouring country. It is not the first time. The first time was in (the district of) Ekang...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/31/18)
ONITSHA, Nigeria (Reuters) - Cameroonian troops crossed into neighboring Nigeria in pursuit of separatist rebels, a Nigerian state defense spokesman and a former community leader said on Wednesday. Cameroon has been fighting Anglophone separatists who have taken up arms over the past year in an attempt to create a nation which they call Ambazonia. The insurgency represents the gravest challenge yet to the 35-year rule of Cameroon’s President Paul Biya. More than 43,000 Cameroonians have fled as refugees to Nigeria to escape the government crackdown on the separatists, say local aid officials.
(AFP (eng) 01/30/18)
The president of the anglophone separatist movement in Cameroon, Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, was extradited to Yaounde on Monday after being detained in Nigeria, the government said. Ayuk Tabe, who had been held in Abuja since January 5, was sent to Cameroon with 46 of his supporters, Cameroonian government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary said in a statement. "A group of 47 terrorists, which includes Mr Ayuk Tabe, has been in the hands of the Cameroonian justice system for a few hours," Tchiroma said. "They will answer for their crimes" before the Cameroonian courts, he added, underlining the "determination" of Nigeria and Cameroon "never to tolerate that their territories...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(AFP (eng) 01/25/18)
Nigeria's anti-graft squad said on Thursday it had placed David Babachir Lawal, once a senior official under President Muhammadu Buhari, in custody for alleged corruption. "He was invited to our office yesterday (Wednesday) and since then he has been in our custody," the acting spokesman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Samin Amaddin, told AFP Thursday. Amaddin could not say how long Lawal would remain in EFCC custody. Lawal, an engineer with experience in telecoms, was appointed to...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/18)
Nigeria's government on Wednesday hit back at claims that President Muhammadu Buhari's tenure had been a failure but refused to say if he would seek re-election. Former president Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday called for Buhari to step down as he had a poor grasp of economics, foreign affairs and Nigeria's complex internal politics. The 75-year-old Buhari "needed a deserved rest", his 80-year-old former military colleague suggested, and asking Nigerians to return him for four more years was "unrealistic". Nigerians go to the polls in February next year. Obasanjo's intervention comes as political parties and candidates begin jostling for position in preparation for campaigning.
(AFP (eng) 01/23/18)
Nigeria's former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Tuesday called on the country's current leader not to seek a second term of office. Obasanjo, who headed a military government in the 1970s and was Nigeria's first president when civilian rule was restored in 1999, said Muhammadu Buhari needed a "deserved rest". With a nation increasingly divided, insecure and in an economic slump, to ask Nigerians to vote for Buhari for another four years was "unrealistic," Obasanjo argued. It "will only sentence Nigeria...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
US Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed regret on Thursday to African ambassadors who were outraged by President Donald Trump's alleged description of African countries as "shithole" nations, the head of the African Group said. Haley asked to meet the African ambassadors at the United Nations after they released a joint statement on Friday demanding an apology from Trump for his "outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks." Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba of Equatorial Guinea, who chairs the Africa Group, said the US ambassador...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/18/18)
ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria’s presidency on Thursday denied that President Muhammadu Buhari had given a radio interview in which he said that he did not know whether he would seek re-election in 2019. Reuters had cited Buhari as saying in the interview that the decision was both personal and also one for all Nigerians. The presidency said the person speaking had not been Buhari, and that Buhari had not given any interviews on Thursday. It was not immediately clear who...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria’s government on Monday summoned a representative of the the U.S. ambassador to explain reported remarks by President Donald Trump that immigrants from Africa and Haiti come from “shithole countries”, the foreign ministry said. Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama “sought clarification on the veracity or otherwise of the substance of the remarks, stressing that if they were true, they were deeply hurtful, offensive and unacceptable”, the ministry said in a statement. Trump reportedly made the remarks at a private meeting with lawmakers on immigration on Thursday. A U.S. senator who attended the gathering said the president...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria will punish all those behind an outbreak of deadly clashes between cattle herders and farmers, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday pushing back at accusations that he failed to take action against members of his own ethnic group. At least 83 people have been killed since the start of the new year in violence between the mainly Christian farmers and the semi-nomadic herders, who are mostly Muslims from Buhari’s Fulani ethnic group. The outbreak of violence,...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump's reported description of African nations as "shithole countries" broke with "accepted behaviour" and was "extremely upsetting." Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, told AFP that Trump's statement "truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice." "This is not only hurtful, I think, to people of African origin in the United States, but certainly to African citizens," she said. "It's an extremely upsetting statement," she added. The comment was reportedly made during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform...

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