Africa highlights: Nigerians warned against coup bid, Beyonce has African party

Summary

  1. Nigerian ruling party leader says any move to stage coup will fail
  2. Dozens of Biafra activists arrested
  3. Pregnant Beyonce releases photos of African-themed party
  4. South Sudan leader ‘declares unilateral ceasefire’
  5. Detained Zambian opposition leader’s wife pleads for his release
  6. Conflict ‘displaced more in DR Congo than Syria in 2016’
  7. War veterans and youth attack Zanu-PF leaders
  8. Ramaphosa calls for action to prevent ‘mafia state’ in South Africa
  9. South African hunter dies ‘after shot elephant falls on him’
  10. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk – Monday 22 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Farouk Chothia

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That’s all from the BBC Africa Live page today. Keep up-to-date with what’s happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website.

A reminder of today’s wise words:

Warring sides do not invite each other to a feast, yet close ranks in times of need.”

A Venda proverb sent by Thivhilaeli wa ha Makatu in Thohoyandou, South Africa

Click here to send us your African proverbs

We leave you with this photo from Cape Town to make you reflect on your day:

Dozens arrested at Biafra independence march

The Biafran Independence Movement (BIM) has alleged that about 50 of its members have been arrested and two of them injured by police in Enugu city in south-eastern Nigeria.

State police spokesman Ebere Amaraizu told the BBC that nobody was injured wounded but confirmed the arrest of at least 40 BIM members for “conducting themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of peace”.

They were marching to demand creation of the breakaway state of Biafra in south-eastern Nigeria.

The BBC’s AbdusSalam Ibrahim Ahmed sent these pictures from the march:

Biafra protesters

BBC

Biafra protester

BBC

On On 30 May, 1967, the head of what was then known as the Eastern Region of Nigeria, Colonel Emeka Ojukwu, unilaterally declared the independent Republic of Biafra.

The Biafran forces were pushed back after initial military gains.

More than two years later, after one million civilians had died in fighting and from famine, Biafra was re-absorbed into Nigeria.

Gambia’s former president’s ‘assets frozen’

A Gambian journalist is tweeting that ex-President Yahya Jammeh’s assets are being frozen:

‘s Justice Min announces it is freezing assets and bank accounts of former leader

Report

He adds that the names of places are also being changed by the new government:

announces names change for health facilities named after Jammeh’s dad, party, foundation to towns they built in

Report

Mr Jammeh was one of the world’s most eccentric and ruthless leaders. His 22 years in power came to an inglorious end earlier this year .

He fled to Equatorial Guinea after regional troops threatened to capture him for refusing to accept electoral defeat at the hands of property developer Adama Barrow.

Read Yahyha Jammeh’s profile on the BBC News website.

Drought disaster declared in Cape Town

A picture taken on May 10, 2017 shows dry cracked mud staring out at the sky at Theewaterskloof Dam, which has less than 20% of it"s water capacity, near Villiersdorp, about 108Km from Cape Town.

AFP

Theewaterskloof Dam has less than 20% of its water capacity

South Africa’s Western Cape province, which includes Cape Town, has declared a drought disaster, as it battles its worst water shortages for 113 years.

“The disaster declaration will accelerate… the province’s strategy to ensure that taps do not run dry,” said Western Cape premier Helen Zille in a statement.

The declaration mean that the Western Cape government will be able to prioritise public funds for drought relief operations.

Boreholes will be drilled at hospitals in Cape Town, a mobile desalination plant will be tested and the natural aquifer at Table Mountain, a major tourist attraction, will be tapped.

Two reservoirs in the Western Cape are already completely dry, according to official statistics.

The two-year drought across southern Africa was caused by the El Nino climate phenomenon.

Watch: What is El Nino?

‘Shabby racist’ jailed for attack on Somali mum-to-be

David Gallacher

Thames Valley Police

David Gallacher was described as a “racist to boot”

A “shabby racist” who repeatedly kicked a pregnant Somali woman in a town in England, resulting in her losing her unborn baby, has been jailed for almost four years.

David Gallacher, 37, attacked Samsam Haji-Ali, 34, and her husband outside a shop in Bletchley in August.

He admitted actual bodily harm, assault by beating and two counts of racially or religiously aggravated assault.

The judge called him a “thug and a racist to boot.”

The court heard that he swore at Mrs Haji-Ali, a Muslim, and said: “You come here with your clown outfit on…”

As her husband Abdullah Sulamain, 40, attempted to calm him down in the car park outside, Gallacher hit him on the head with a bottle of wine and a bag of ice.

He then kicked Mrs Haji-Ali in the stomach.

Judge Francis Sheridan said:

She told him she was pregnant and he continued to kick her again, after he was told she was pregnant. She is left rolling around on the ground in agony and later found there is bleeding, before she lost the baby.”

Mrs Haji-Ali miscarried on 24 August.

Read the full BBC story here

Ivory Coast rebels stage fresh protest

Hundreds of demobilised rebels took to the streets of Bouake, Ivory Coast’s second biggest city, to demand that the government pay them, reports AFP news agency.

AFP adds that they also disrupted a funeral attended by a cabinet minister.

The minister had offered assistance to help the country’s around 6,000 demobilised former rebels to set up businesses.

But the offer angered the ex-rebels who shouted “We don’t want projects, we want cash”, and then surrounded Solidarity Minister Mariatou Kone’s vehicle, preventing her from getting away, AFP reports.

A mutinous soldier wearing hood holds a weapon inside a military camp in the Ivory Coast"s central second city Bouake, on May 15, 2017.

AFP

The protests come days after a crippling four-day army mutiny

Protester dies in Tunisia protests

Unemployed Tunisian protesters shout slogans during a demonstration outside the Tataouine governorate headquarters on May 22, 2017, in Tataouine, around 500 kilometres (300 miles) south of Tunis.

AFP

Protesters demanded jobs earlier today outside Tataouine governorate headquarters

Our North Africa correspondent has the latest update on protests in Tunisia:

1. regional dir. of health Dr. Ibrahim Ghorgar tells me 1 protestor in “died after being run over by a vehicle”

Report

We reported earlier that residents have been camping outside a oil and gas pumping station in Tataouine in the south for around a month to demand they are given a share of resources.

Pastor claims to ‘talk to God on phone’

South African and Zimbabwean news sites are talking about a video of a Zimbabwean pastor who has claimed that he has a phone number to God.

Pastor Paul Sanyangore from Victory World International Ministries was captured on camera on the phone in front of his congregation saying “hello is this heaven?” before claiming to have a conversation with God:

The video is from March but is only now getting reaction across the web.

Sowetan Live calls the phone call “bizarre”.

Times Live has an exasperated tone, saying the pastor is among the growing list of pastors who are playing bizarre and harmful stunts – from a pastor who made the congregation eat grass to one who sprayed insect repellent in their faces.

In an interview with the Zimbabwean news site H-Metro at the beginning of the month, Pastor Sanyangore promised he would reveal God’s phone number.

The pastor is known for being controversial.

In 2015 the same pastor was asked by safe sex campaigners to stop blessing condoms due to fears that he was confusing congregants who may think they cannot use them, reports Bulawayo 24

Nigerian leaders warn against coup

Nigerian Chief of Army staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai visits victims of the accidental airstrike at Maiduguri State Specialist Hospital on January 18, 2017

AFP

Chief of Army staff Tukur Buratai has told soldiers to steer clear of politics

Senior politicians in Nigeria have vowed to resist any attempt to stage a coup, following rumours of a move by some army officers to seize power while President Muhammadu Buhari is on medical leave in the UK.

“Those who think they can break the democracy for which so many laboured and which too many sacrificed limb and life, are sorely mistaken. Nigeria has come too far for such a thing…. don’t think about it,” Reuters news agency quoted the leader of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) party, Bola Tinubu, as saying in a speech to the state assembly in the main city Lagos.

House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Yussuff Lasun was quoted by Nigeria’s This Day newspaper as saying that the military would find it difficult to take power after 17 years of uninterrupted democracy in Africa’s most populous state.

Bola Tinubu, one of the leaders of Nigeria's leading opposition All Progressive Congress, tries to calm the crowd after violence broke out during a campaign rally at the Taslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on January 30, 2015.

AFP

Mr Tinubu says Nigerians will not allow democracy to be derailed

Rumours of a coup plot were fuelled last week after chief of army staff Tukur Buratai issued a statement, warning solders to steer clear of politics and saying he had received information that “some individuals have been approaching some officers and soldiers for undisclosed political reasons”, the Premium Times reported.

The rumours may be linked to the fact that Mr Buratai had reshuffled the upper echelons of the military, and President Buhari, 74, was on medical leave in the UK, it reported.

Read: Should Nigerians be worried about Buhari’s heath?

South Sudan president ‘announces unilateral ceasefire’

Salva Kiir

Reuters

The president of war-ravaged South Sudan has declared a unilateral ceasefire, reports Reuters news agency.

In a speech in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, President Salva Kiir also promised to release political prisoners, Reuters adds.

“I directed the prosecutor general to immediately review the cases of those who have committed crime against the state, commonly known as political prisoners, and ensure the necessary steps taken are taken to lead their release,” he is quoted as saying.

But there is no sign of a political deal with rebels, the news agency adds.

Mali police arrest suspected drug kingpin

Alex Duval Smith

BBC News

French soldiers of the 93rd French Mountain Artillery Regiment and FAMA (Malian Army forces) ride on June 4, 2015 on the Faguibine dry lake near Bintagoungou in the Timbuktu region, northern Mali

Getty Images

Trafficking drugs and migrants across the desert is the economic driver of Mali’s war

Malian drugs investigators have arrested a man they consider to be a drug-trafficking kingpin with links to Ghana, Guinea and Guinea Bissau.

The arrest came a few days after they seized a truck in Mali carrying 2.7 tonnes of cannabis. The truck had come from Ghana, transited via Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso before entering Mali through the south-eastern city of Sikasso.

The police allege that the trafficker, whose name has been given only as Rouzo, also transports cocaine and heroine. They say they are now looking for a drug-making factory in Bamako and say there will be more arrests in Mali and in the region.

Tunisian police ‘fire tear gas at protesters at pumping station’

A Tunisian protester prays during a sit-in at El Kamour oilfield, demanding jobs and a share in revenue from the area"s natural resources, near the town of Tatouine

Reuters

Protesters had set up tents by the oil field

Security forces fired tear gas at protesters as they tried to storm a gas and oil installation in southern Tunisia, AFP news agency reports local radio stations as saying.

Residents have been camping outside the El Kamour gas and oil pumping station in the Tataouine region for around a month to demand they be given a share of local resources and priority in jobs in the sector, AFP adds.

It is the first such incident since President Beji Caid Essebsi said the army would protect key installations from being disrupted by protests.

On Sunday, the defence ministry warned that the army would use force against anyone who tried to enter the grounds of these installations, AFP reports.

Fears grow for detained journalist in DR Congo

Deutsche Welle is calling for the immediate release of Antediteste Niragira, its correspondent arrested in DR Congo http://p.dw.com/p/2dJfE 

Report

Media campaign group Reporters Without Borders says it is concerned about the fate of the Burundian correspondent of German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) after he was arrested last week in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo by intelligence agents.

Antediteste Niragira was detained while reporting on Burundian refugees in DR Congo, DW spokesman Christoph Jumpelt said, adding that allegations that he was a spy were “outrageous and baseless”.undefined

Mr Niragira’s wife has not heard from him since he called her from the border two days ago, Reporters Without Borders said.

In a statement, it added:

There is no reason for Antediteste Niragira to be in prison. This journalist has broken no law. If the Congolese authorities don’t want to let him into DR Congo, they should release him so that he can return home.”

Algerian officers die in power line crash

Three Algerian naval officers have been killed after their helicopter “hit high-voltage electricity lines” and crashed during a night patrol, the defence ministry has said, AFP news agency reports.

The helicopter went down last night in Tipaza province, some 70 km (45 miles) from the capital, Algiers, it added.

UK firm designs ‘world’s most affordable solar lamp’

SM100 solar lamp

INVENTID

A UK design consultancy has teamed up with a giant Chinese manufacturer to produce what they say is the world’s most affordable solar lamp.

Manchester-based firm Inventid designed the SM100 solar light, which retails for $5 (£3.85) in African countries.

It was developed in collaboration with China’s Yingli and charity Solar Aid.

The hand-sized lamp runs for eight hours when fully charged. As well as a stand, it has strap slots so it can be used as a head torch or tied to a bike.

The SM100 was trialled with 9,000 families in three African countries, Malawi, Uganda, and Zambia, and the new light is now on sale.

Read the full BBC story here

Economic growth in Africa ‘down’

The headline figure from the latest annual report from the African Development Bank shows that economic growth on the continent slowed to 2.2% in 2016 from 3.4% the previous year.

But the authors expect it to rise again this year and next.

Of course, this disguises big regional variations with East African countries leading the continent in terms of the pace of economic growth.

There is a lot of detail to explore in the 300-page report, but here are some other interesting highlights.

1. Unemployment behind protests

The authors found that a third of all public protests in Africa from 2014 to 2016 were about employment opportunities.

They say that with a boom in the youth population job creation will “remain the core challenge for African policy-makers”.

Tunisians wave their national flag as they take part in a general strike against marginalization and to demand development and employment

AFP

Tunisians protested in April over economic issues

2. Remittances are growing

Remittances – money sent from abroad – are projected to increase to $66.2bn (£51bn) this year. That’s 2.4% higher than in 2016.

One chart shows that more than 30% of Liberia’s GDP is made up of remittances, Cape Verde gets more than $380 per person in money sent from overseas, and in total Nigeria gets $20bn.

Chart showing remittances

AfDB

3. EU trade is crucial

If you take the European Union as a whole then it is the continent’s biggest trading partner accounting for 30% of everything African countries export. Meanwhile, only 15% of exported goods go to other African countries.

Chart showing trade proportions

AfDB

If you take countries individually then China is Africa’s biggest trading partner, followed by India, France and the US. The UK comes in ninth.

The forgotten town of Angolan apartheid-era soldiers

Former Angolan soldiers stand in a dilapidated building on February 13, 2017 in the desert town of Pomfret, close to the Botswana border on the edge of the Kalahari desert in the North West province of South Africa. Pomfret, the site of an old asbestos mine, on the edge of the Kalahari desert in northwest South Africa

AFP

The town is now full of dilapidated buildings

Angolan soldiers recruited by South Africa’s apartheid regime to fight against their homeland now live in squalor, reports AFP news agency.

Some 3,000 Angolan-born men live in Pomfret, a town in a far-flung northern corner of South Africa, AFP says.

The unit had been formed to fight the apartheid regime’s enemies across southern Africa.

The soldiers were relocated to the town when the cold war ended but the battalion was disbanded in 1993 – a year before the African National Congress (ANC) took power in South Africa, heralding the end of minority rule.

Many opted to remain as they felt stranded between South Africa, where their service is scorned, and Angola, where they are seen as traitors.

“Angolans say we killed them. The ANC here think that we killed their fighters,” said Alexander Joaquim, a 74-year-old veteran of 32 Battalion told AFP.

A graffiti is pictured on a wall of a dilapidated building on February 13, 2017 in the desert town of Pomfret, South Africa

AFP

Ramaphosa warns of ‘mafia state’ in South Africa

South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC) must act urgently to prevent the the country from becoming a “mafia state”, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has said, as he increasingly distances himself from President Jacob Zuma who is facing widespread allegations of corruption.

Speaking at a rally in the mining town of Rustenburg yesterday, Mr Ramaphosa said:

“If the ANC is to recover its leadership role in society, then it is absolutely imperative that we act with urgency and purpose and make sure that we never become a mafia state. Because once we become a mafia state all the wheels have come off.”

South African President and new reelected African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma (R) flanked by businessman Cyril Ramaphosa newly elected deputy president of the party attend the 53 rd National Conference of the ANC on December 18, 2012 in Bloemfontein

AFP

Mr Ramaphosa (L) hopes to succeed Mr Zuma (R)

His comments came after the highly respected South African Council of Churches warned last week that a powerful elite was “systematically siphoning state assets” and South Africa “may be inches away from a mafia state from which there could be no return”.

Mr Ramaphosa told the rally:

It’s something that should make all of us sad, that the South Africa of Nelson Mandela is now being said to be on the brink of becoming a mafia state.”

Bloomberg news agency quoted Mr Ramaphosa as saying that a judicial commission of inquiry should be appointed to investigate allegations of “state capture”.

It must be investigated and put to bed before 2019, because 2019 is our destination for the ANC to win elections.

It is only through this commission that we can ascertain to what extent our state-owned companies have been used improperly to enrich and benefit a few people and their families.”

The wealthy Gupta family has been repeatedly accused of wielding undue influence in Mr Zuma’s government. Both the family and Mr Zuma deny the allegation.

Mr Ramaphosa is campaigning to succeed Mr Zuma as ANC leader at the party’s five-yearly elective conference in December, and as president after the general election in 2019.

Mr Zuma is backing his ex-wife and former African Union Commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in the leadership race.

Read: Zuma down but not out

Conflict ‘displaces more in DR Congo than Syria’

The number of people displaced by conflict inside the Democratic Republic of Congo last year was higher than that in Syria or Iraq, according to research by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

The Democratic Republic of Congo had a spike of 922,000 new displacements caused by conflict last year, compared with 824,000 and Iraq with 659,000, the NRC’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Center said.

NRC secretary-general Jan Egeland told BBC Newsday that “it is surprisingly not Syria nor Iraq” at the top of the list.

Mr Egeland said it was a “total myth that they [people fleeing violence] come all to Europe, they come all to America. Most people are displaced within their own country”.

Listen to the full interview on Newsday:

Report shows one person is displaced every second due to conflict and natural disasters.

School gender gap ‘rapidly narrowing’ in Central Africa

A pupil writes on her copy book during a class in Kinshasa on September 7, 2016.

Getty Images

More girls than boys finish secondary school in North and southern Africa, says a report by the African Development Bank.

It also found that Central Africa, where female completion rates are the lowest in Africa, the gender gap is rapidly narrowing – with nearly three times more girls completing secondary school since 2005.

The wide-ranging report found Africans are seeing a steady improvement in the quality of life.

Beyonce has African-themed ‘push party’

People are still commenting on pictures posted by the singer Beyonce yesterday of her so-called African-themed push party.

Entertainment news site E! Online quotes an insider as saying “the decor was African-themed and very colorful with lounge seating areas, floor pillows and rugs on the floor… and African dancers and drummers walking around”.

Vogue explains that a push party is like a baby shower but both genders can attend.

Here are Beyonce’s own pictures from the event.

The singer announced in February that she was pregnant with twins.

Magistrate in Zambia treason case ‘ill’

The court case of Zambia’s main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, who wants treason charges against him dropped, has been postponed to Wednesday after the magistrate fell ill his United Party for National Development (UPND) has tweeted:

Case allocated to Magistrate Malipenga after Magistrate Simusamba falls ill. Ruling set for Wednesday 24th. HH and accused remain in prison

Report

See earlier post for more details

Hunter ‘crushed to death by elephant’

A South African big game hunter died after being crushed by an elephant that had been shot on a game reserve in Zimbabwe, reports South Africa’s News24 site.

Theunis Botha, 51, was leading a hunt with clients when the group accidentally walked into the middle of a breeding herd of elephants, Zimparks spokesman Mr Simukai Nyasha told the UK-based Telegraph newspaper.

A source who did not want to be named told Netwerk24 (In Afrikaans) that one of the hunters shot an elephant after she lifted Mr Botha with her trunk. The shot was fatal and as the elephant collapsed, she fell on Mr Botha, News 24 adds.

Elephants in Hwange National Park

Getty Images

The incident happened near Hwange National Park

Zanu-PF rocked by violence

Violent clashes broke out yesterday between rival factions of Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party at its provincial headquarters in the second city, Bulawayo, the state-owned Chronicle newspaper reports.

Provincial youth league chairperson Anna Mokgohla was brutally assauled by some war veterans while Bulwayo central district chairperson Magura Charumbira was stabbed in the head and face, the newspaper adds.

Youth also threw stones and smashed windows,saying they did not recognise the party’s provincial leadership, the Chronicle reports.

Police were called in to curb the violence, it adds.

Zanu-PF has been hit by worsening divisions as rival factions position themselves to succeed the 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe, even though he has been nominated to stand for re-election next year.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe leaves the stage after participating in a discussion at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2017 meeting in Durban, South Africa May 4, 2017.

Reuters

Mr Mugabe has been in power since 1980

Zambian opposition leader’s wife pleads for his release

The wife of Zambia’s main opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, has appealed to the international community to help free her husband.

Mutinta Hichilema said the erosion of democracy in her country, and its rapid slide towards a dictatorship, could no be ignored.

She made the comments as the UK government said investors were unnerved by the continued detention of her husband on treason charges.

Today, a magistrate is expected to decide whether his case will be dropped or referred to the High Court.

Mr Hichilema’s United Party for National Development (UPND) has been tweeting about his detention:

President Hichilema spends his 43rd day in prison as we await a ruling on whether case will be reffered to the High court today.

Report

Today’s wise words

Our African proverb of the day:

Warring sides do not invite each other to a feast, yet close ranks in times of need.”

A Venda proverb sent by Thivhilaeli wa ha Makatu in Thohoyandou, South Africa

Click here to send us your African proverbs

Nigeria moves to stop illegal emigration

Nigeria’s government is worried about clandestine migration. Unlike in Europe, the issue is not people coming in, but Nigerians leaving the country. New rules are being enacted to solve the problem.

African migrants on a rubber dinghy in the Mediterranean

On Monday, the Nigerian government presented the “Immigration Regulation 2017” in Abuja. It makes it easier for businessmen to visit the country, strengthens the defense of borders against terrorism and aims for better registration of immigrants. But both the title and the packaging hide the fact that this is far from being only about immigration. New rules for emigration are just as central to the project. To quote Nigerian Interior Minister Abdulrahman Dambazu: “It is an adjustment to the dynamics of modern-day’s migration realities.”

Harsh measures 

Mohammed Babandede, comptroller general of the Nigerian Immigration Service, is less inclined to mince words. “Nigeria today demonstrated it is committed to the fight against the smuggling of migrants. We are aware that a lot of our citizens are dying in the desert and the sea,” he said.

The government believes that only harsh measures will stop the dying. Accordingly, the new regulations include severe punishment for illegal migration. The old immigration law from 1963 established only modest fines of less than one euro ($1.08). New fines for infractions can go up to 3,000 euros ($2,800). Prison sentences for serious violations of the immigration law will be much longer than in the past.

Nigeria's Interior Minister Abdulrahman Dambazau and Comptoller General Mohammed Babandede Nigeria’s Interior Minister Abdulrahman Dambazau (right) and Comptroller General Mohammed Babandede presented Nigeria’s new migration policy in Abuja

Nigeria is one of the main countries of origin of illegal migration. In the last year alone, around 30,000 undocumented Nigerians crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. Hundreds die each year attempting to reach the continent. Human trafficking has tarnished Nigeria’s reputation around the globe. Current estimates point to more than 10,000 Nigerian women forced to prostitute themselves in Europe. Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari believes these numbers are a blight on his country’s reputation and has called for a coordinated strategy to fight smugglers and human traffickers.

The right of free movement

Babandede has promised to improve cooperation with Niger and other neighboring states which Nigerian emigrants cross on their way to Europe.

“If we have evidence that a migrant is planning to travel beyond Niger, we can stop him,” Babandede said.

That is the kind of measure rejected by Enira Kdrzalic, Nigeria’s chief of mission of the International Organization of Migration (IOM).

“Every single person has a right of free movement,” she told DW. That applies to all the citizens of the Economic Community of West

African refugees in Niger sit on the floor waiting for an opportunity to travel further to EuropeNigeria’s neighbor Niger is the main transit country for West African refugees

African States (ECOWAS), Kdrzalic added, before conceding that countries like Nigeria are under heavy pressure due to climbing numbers of undocumented migrants.

The European Union is seeking assurances from African states that they will take measures to stop mass migration. Countries willing to cooperate with Europe by joining so-called “migration partnerships” will be rewarded with substantial financial aid and investments. Those who refuse will face sanctions. The EU has put aside billions of euros to finance the partnerships in coming years.

Criminals will find a way

Enira Kdrzalic from the IOM believes that the failure to stop irregular emigration in Nigeria is not due to a lack of political will. Mostly, continued violations of the rules are a result of deficits in the country’s administration.

“Many agencies are operating in parallel. Much action is needed to ensure the effectiveness and coordination of their activities to avoid duplications,” Kdrzalic said.

Immigration head Babandede agreed that the new rules will not be enough if the job is not done properly.

“There must be a lot of training, attitude change and punishment of officials who compromise at the borders,” he said.

But Babandede also said that Europe must assume part of the responsibility. He called for the quick improvement of European laws regulating legal immigration for Nigerians.

“If you don’t create the opportunity for regular migration, criminal groups will provide those opportunities,” Babandede said.

Watch video03:44

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Multiple bomb blasts rock Nigeria’s Maiduguri

At least three people killed and 18 others wounded by explosions at a refugee camp in Maiduguri, officials say.

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Most the people living in the camp have fled their homes due to the spate of attacks by Boko Haram in the country's northeast [Reuters]
Most the people living in the camp have fled their homes due to the spate of attacks by Boko Haram in the country’s northeast [Reuters]

At least three people have been killed and 18 others wounded in multiple suicide blasts at a refugee camp on the outskirts of the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, security sources told Al Jazeera.

Police said five male suicide bombers detonated explosives at the camp which is located at the Muna Garage area of the city in the early hours of Wednesday.

Those wounded were taken to hospital to receive treatment.

READ MORE: Attack by gunmen in central Nigeria kills at least 17

The blasts triggered fires which burned down tents in the vast Muna camp, Tijjani Lumani, a coordinator at the camp told the AFP news agency.

“There were four explosions inside the camp. The bombers struck at different locations around 4:30 am.” Lumani said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Maiduguri has been frequently targeted by fighters of the Boko Haram armed group.

According to eyewitnesses, the bombers had sneaked into the camps late on Tuesday night alongside those who sell charcoal to refugees, who use it to cook their food.

Most of the people living there are those who have fled their homes due to the spate of attacks by Boko Haram in the country’s northeast.

Wednesday’s blasts were the latest blamed on suicide bombers, who continue to pose a threat to civilians despite military claims of success against Boko Haram.

Four people were killed on Saturday when suicide bombers blew themselves up in a village near the city.

On Tuesday, Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari met security chiefs in the capital Abuja to review the security situation in the country. The nearly seven years Boko Haram crisis topped the agenda of the review, according to a presidential aide.

Maiduguri, the state capital of Borno state, is the birthplace of the Boko Haram insurgency, which has claimed the lives of over 20,000 people and forced 2.6 million from their homes since 2009.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

War & Conflict Nigeria Africa

Suicide bombers destroy 3 fuel tankers in northeast Nigeria

March 3
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Three suicide bombers set ablaze three fuel tankers in the center of Nigeria’s northeastern city of Maiduguri before dawn Friday, officials said, just days before a planned visit by the U.N. Security Council.

Soldiers fired at one of the bombers, a teenage girl, to avert what could have been a major attack on the city’s main fuel depot, according to the police chief and a witness.

“We are lucky. Today could have been another sad day for us in Maiduguri,” police commissioner Damian Chukwu told reporters at the scene, where firefighters were dousing several fires.

The attack, outside a gas station opposite the northeastern headquarters of the Central Bank of Nigeria, killed only the three bombers, said Abdulkadir Ibrahim, spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency.

Officials blamed Boko Haram insurgents who many times have attacked Maiduguri, the birthplace of Nigeria’s homegrown Islamic extremist group.

An elderly woman bomber blew herself up beside a stationary tanker loaded with fuel around 3 a.m., witness Mala Gajibo told The Associated Press.

She was accompanied by a teenage boy and girl who continued down the road toward the fuel depot until they were challenged by soldiers, Gajibo said. Chukwu also said soldiers fired at one of the bombers.

“They ordered them to stop but they chose to run,” Gajibo said. “The male suicide bomber detonated his explosives near S. Baba (gas) filling station, while the girl was shot at by the military and ran under a parked truck loaded with petrol products which went up in flames” when her explosives detonated.

Increased security by Nigerian soldiers and civilian self-defense fighters has averted many suicide bombings in recent months.

The attack comes just days before the U.N. Security Council is expected in Maiduguri as part of a four-nation tour of countries in the Lake Chad Basin devastated by the seven-year Boko Haram uprising that has killed more than 20,000.

The uprising also has left 2.6 million homeless and created what the U.N. has called the continent’s worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 5 million people in urgent need of food aid.

Council members began their tour Friday in Cameroon. A multinational force headquartered in Chad has driven Boko Haram out of towns and villages where the extremists had set up an Islamic caliphate. But suicide bombings and attacks on remote villages and military outposts continue.

___

This story has been corrected to show that Chad, not Cameroon, is the headquarters of the multinational force.

___

Faul reported from Johannesburg. Associated Press writer Joshua Ola contributed from Maiduguri.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

DR Congo election: ‘We cannot afford $1.8bn cost’, says minister

  • 16 February 2017
  • From the sectionAfrica
President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Joseph Kabila, attends the signing ceremony of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for DR Congo and the Great Lakes, 24 February 2013Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionPresident Kabila’s opponents have accused him of delaying the election in order to remain in power

The Democratic Republic of Congo will not be able to afford an agreed presidential election this year, the government says.

Budget Minister Pierre Kangudia said the cost of organising the poll, which was said to be $1.8bn (£1.5bn), was too expensive.

Last year the government and the opposition agreed that new elections would be held by the end of 2017.

President Joseph Kabila’s final mandate ran out in November 2016.

Mr Kabila’s opponents have accused him of repeatedly delaying the poll in order to remain in power.


Read more


The plan to hold an election before the end of 2017 initially reduced tension between the government and the opposition.

The electoral commission said last November that it needed at least until July 2017 to register more than 30 million voters in a country similar in size to Western Europe, but with one of the worst transport and communication networks in the world.

Earlier this month, the death of veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi led to concerns about the country’s future.

Elections in DR Congo are often controversial. Last year, protests against moves to delay the presidential poll resulted in at least 50 deaths.

DR Congo has never had a smooth transfer of power since independence more than 55 years ago.

Mr Kabila took power in 2001 following the assassination of his father, Laurent Kabila. He has won two elections and the constitution bars him from running for a third term.

European Union replies pro-Biafra agitators over calls for BiafrExit

Against the backdrop of the request by Biafra activists and the Organization of Emerging African States (OEAS) for the referendum to be conducted on the independence of a republic of Biafra, the European Union (EU) has replied the agitators.

European Union Replies Biafra Over Calls For Independence

Federica Mogherini, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security

Pro-Biafra activists earlier requested that the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Federica Mogherini, wades into the need to conduct a referendum for Biafra’s independence. The call was made through the OEAS.

The organisation also called for the release of those it described as ‘Biafran political prisoners’ and a stay of action by the Nigerian troops, and for quick referendum to be held within 90 days.

READ ALSO: Follow latest updates on the ‘Biafra issue’

In response to this request, Mogherini told Dr Jonathan Levy, the OEAS chief administrative officer, that while the EU has strong diplomatic and economic relationship with Nigeria, the “protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms remains a priority for the EU and we encourage the authorities [in Nigeria] in every occasion to respect such rights.”

The EU further went on to caution the OEAS and Biafra agitators that the push for self-determination and border changes must be carried out within the ambits of the established international law.

It added that the state of Biafra can only be recognized through the international law, and not through the armed secession.

The OEAS had been pushing for an internationally recognized referendum on Biafra independence or autonomy.

READ ALSOIgbo chieftain wants Nnamdi Kanu to drop his Biafra dream

In the same vein, the OEAS advised that all nonviolent means should be utilized including general strikes, economic boycotts, work actions, demonstrations, lawsuits, and civil disobedience.

The ILO recognizes the right to engage in general strikes and the right to strike is also recognized in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966 (Article 8(1)(d)).

Nigeria is a member of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Meanwhile, the former president Olusegun Obasanjo had continued to hit hard on Biafra agitators lashing out on the pro-Biafra movement describing it as dead agitation which was borne out of sheer ignorance and error of judgment.

He added that those involved in the current agitation in support of Biafra were embarking on a hopeless and futile exercise, which no serious-minded Nigerian should ever become a part of.

How 23 yr old UNIBEN undergraduate discovered weird watermelon farming strategies and raked in over N9M in 162 days

No doubt the agriculture sector seems to be the only booming sector in this depressed economy.

Watermelon farming Nigeria

While many are losing their jobs and others their once thriving income due to the harsh state of this present economy a 23-yrs-old UNIBEN undergraduate from the department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Life Sciences University of Benin, Benin City suddenly bumped into a weird simple Watermelon fruits farming strategies and made over 9 Million Naira in 162days growing it even without using cutlass/hoe or any kind of strenuous crude implements.

The amazing part of this young Environment Science undergraduate’s watermelon millionaire success story is that, he has never done anything farming in his entire life before neither does he has the strength to even lift a cutlass from the ground yet he did it and the results speaks volume.

Jude only became inspired after bumping into Osagie one security staff turned Watermelon Millionaire success story HERE he reached out to him for his strategies – the kind of organic nor-GMO seeds that is best for the Nigeria weather, the lists of various chemicals used, their methods of application and all that and the rest now is history.

First, he began by cheaply getting about 22hecatares of land (about N5,000 per hectare) with the help and arrangement of a Guy Stanly at the Benin-Owena River Basin Authority and hired a tractor from the same agency to have it prepared.

And in 4days the entire 22hectares was ploughed and harrowed by the tractor and planting was done using the specialized bumper-yield-bearing seedlings.

Watermelon farming Nigeria

Treatment – a combination of foliar fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, fungicides etc. were repeatedly applied by the ‘Ogoja’ boys to boost yield and completely get rid of insects and stop diseases from breaking out among the crops.

This he was doing mostly weekend when there is no lecture so that he can adequately supervise the ‘Ogoja’ workers instructing them on the correct thing to do at every stage just as he had learned from Osagie’s watermelon millionaire strategies.

Watermelon farming

35 days old

The ‘Ogoja’ boys were arranged to be paid at the end of the cultivation seasons.

The crops grew and the treatment chemicals were repeatedly applied to regulate insects and diseases outbreak on the farm.

Watermelon farming Nigeria

60 days old

The harvesting of the crops started after 73days of planting and they were sold at the end of the season.

And after 162days of running it two seasons over 9 Million Naira was realized.

He would have made way more than N9m from his smart agrobiz if had spaced his planting days as most of the fruits got ripe almost at the same time.

Watermelon farming Nigeria

65 days old

Before now this 23-yrs-old young UNIBEN undergraduate had always dreaded everything farming just like everyone even though when we know how highly profitable it could be. The lazy man smart approach to farming without touching and using cutlass/hoe he bumped into made him changed his mindset gave it a shoot and he got this results right here.

Watermelon farming Nigeria

75 days old

The Only Way Now Left For Ordinary People To Get Rich Fast In This Present Economy?

Agriculture is now the way to go especially the smart mechanized lazy man type like this one here. No wonder the government and experts keep yelling it into our ears every now and then.

The results of this young 23-yrs-old UNIBEN Environmental science undergraduatestudent who has never done anything farming all his life before is a big reason why we all have to embrace it the smart way and take back our financial destiny.

It a sustainable and dependable income that with which everyone with his or her family can depend on especially during a time like this our economy seems to be going southwards every day.

“Thank God for Osagie’s smart agro million business without cutlass/hoe story I bumped into. His proven strategies taught me that with advancement in technology and research I can easily become a successful farmer with no former experience and make great gains without having to touch or use cutlass/hoe as against the wrong notion I had before.

“I’m Now Setting Up 100 Hectares”

“I’m now planning of setting up 100 hectares flat and use this same used before to grow other profitable fast vegetable crops this season and I’ve decided to teach as many people that are serious in taking their finance to another level leveraging the hidden riches in agrobiz by revealing to them in a webinar (live training) how anyone can go from almost nothing to making over 4 million naira in short 83days doing a lazy man smart farming without touching or using cutlass/hoe.”

You can quickly register for this FREE training here before the remaining 50 seats is filled. https://run.easywebinar.live/wm-reg

What You’ll LEARN From The Smart Agro Million Webinar (Live Event)

On this live presentation of N9m in 162days smart lazy man agro million case-study Webinar (live online training) you’re going to learn among many things and be able to ask and get answers to your questions on how you can go about everything if you need to know.

You’ll discover and learn among many things as

1. How anyone can get 1 hectare of land for N2500 – N5,000 guaranteed

2. How and where to cheaply hire tractor that will help plough and harrow the land for you.

3. The name of the recommended hybrid seeds and where to get them near you. And while we’ve stick to using this particular hybrid seeds.

4. The name of the treatment chemicals – foliars, insecticides, pesticides, fungicides where and how to get them plus how to accurately apply them.

5. The red light management mistakes that almost destroy my crops after 3 weeks of cultivation and how I was able to remedy it once and for all.

6. My 3 unique methods I that used in selling my produce for mega profits.

You should register here now for the training FREE before the 50 seats left are filled. Click https://run.easywebinar.live/wm-reg to reserve your seat now.

Agriculture as you may already know is now the way left for us to get rich in this present economy and unique strategies that brought in over N9m in 162days for the 23-yrs-old UNIBEN undergraduate without cutlass and hoe is a perfect one you can model today.

It’s Now Up To You

You can decide to attend this FREE online training from anywhere you’re in the world and BUILD yourself another new solid sustainable income source that is recession proof anytime and anyday just by registering to reserve your seat here https://run.easywebinar.live/wm-reg or continue to whine and panic over how ceaseless crazy bills as a result of the ever skyrocketing inflation to keep putting you under pressure by not making you not to be able to live that quality life you have always desired and dreamt of.

It’s all your choice.

If you’re ready to learn how an ordinary 23-yrs-old environmental scienceundergraduate student of UNIBEN did it and raked in over 9 million naira in 162days without ever touching or using cutlass/hoe – his strategies, methods, mistakes and lessons then click here to attend this webinar (live online event) now by registering when you click the registration link below.

==>> https://run.easywebinar.live/wm-reg

Watermelon farming Nigeria

Jerry Obamwonyi (Coach & Consultant)

EMAIL: info@watermelonbusinesssecret.com

Live Training Reg. Link: https://run.easywebinar.live/wm-reg

Tel: 07032472869 available 9am – 4pm (Mon – Fri)

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