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


  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 – 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


Biafra protester


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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”


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


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.


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


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


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 


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


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

Tears of joy as Chibok girls reunite with their parents

Two weeks ago, 82 of the girls abducted by the terror group Boko Haram, were set free. This weekend they were finally reunited with their parents. DW’s Adrian Kriesch was there to witness the event.

Nigeria - Heimkehr der Chibok Mädchen (picture-alliance/dpa/AP/O. Gbemiga)

Tired and exhausted, the parents of the 82 freed girls, wait patiently to see their daughters. They spent hours on the bus and drove over night, as they made their way from Chibok in north-eastern Nigeria to the capital Abuja.

Rebecca Ntakai, however, remains in a good mood. While some of the other parents are struggling to stay awake, Rebecca wears a constant grin and makes jokes. “I’m just thankful and I can’t wait to have my daughter Hauwa back in my arms,” she says.

Nigeria - Heimkehr der Chibok Mädchen (Reuters/A. Sotunde)Families celebrate being reunited with their daughters

Then at long last, something seems to be happening. The parents line up in a long queue. One by one, their names are called and they now board new busses that will bring them to a hospital run by Nigeria’s secret service. That’s where their daughters are receiving medical care.

The pursuit after the abduction

Hauwa’s father, Ntakai Keki, has also made the long journey from Chibok. He’ll never forget the day his daughter was abducted. “When I heard that she was abducted, my younger brother and I got onto a motorbike and tried to pursue them,” said Ntakai. They found several bits of clothing along the way. The girls had apparently dropped them in the hope that someone would find them. In the end, however, Ntakai and the other relatives lost their trail. “The government and the soldiers didn’t help us, even though we passed several military bases along the way.”

The previous government under Goodluck Jonathan, was heavily criticized for its slow reaction. Jonathan himself only met the parents of the girls three months after the abduction. At the time, he promised them that they would see their daughters within three weeks. But after that nothing happened. There was no new information, no progress reports.

Nigeria Abuja - Rebecca Ntakai kurz nach der Ankunft in Abuja (DW/A. Kriesch)Rebecca Ntakai waits for her daughter in Abuja

Every day, Ntakai recalls, his eleven other children would ask him about Hauwa: How is she doing? Is she getting enough food? Where is she sleeping, on a mattress or on the floor? “I tried to keep them calm and tell them that everything was okay and that one day, she would return,” said Ntakai.

Tears, joy and prayers

After a short drive, the parents arrive at the heavily guarded secret service compound. Inside the compound, however, the atmosphere is festive. Food and drinks are served in colorful tents. Music blares out the loudspeakers. The bus doors open and 82 overwhelmed girls finally meet their parents. It’s been three years and two months. Tears, laughter and prayers fill the air.

Rebecca grabs her daughter and lifts her onto her back. That’s how she carried her years ago, when Hauwa was still a child. Hauwa herself can barely stop her tears. Her father embraces her and even he starts to cry.

No questions about the past

In her colorful traditional dress, Hauwa looks as if she is well. But up to now, nobody knows what she experienced in the past three years. In order to protect them, journalists have been told not to speak to the girls. Hauwa’s father also doesn’t want to ask any sensitive questions. Not here, not now.

The government gives little insight into how it is helping the girls recover and has been heavily criticized for that. What is known, is that the girls will remain in Abuja and will receive medical and psychological care from the government. They will also go back to school.

Nigeria Präsident Muhammadu Buhari und die freigelassenen Chibok-Mädchen in Abuja (Reuters/Presidential Office/B. Omoboriowo)Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari smiles as he welcomes a group of Chibok girls who were held captive for three years

In October 2016, 23 girls were already freed from Boko Haram. Some of the parents told DW, they had only been able to see their daughters once since their release. The government, however, announced that some of the girls would soon be allowed to visit Chibok.

“The government voiced a number of security concerns,” explained Jibo Ibrahim, an analyst with the Abuja based Center for Democracy and Development. “Many of the girls were married to Boko Haram fighters and the security services fear that some of them might have been converted.” Nevertheless, he said, it was unacceptable that they were separated from family and friends for such a long time. “I don’t think it’s justifiable and I don’t think the government has a good enough reason for that,” Ibrahim told DW.

For now Hauwa’s parents don’t even want to think of the fact that she won’t be able to go back to Chibok with them. “I am so glad and thankful to God,” her father explains, handing his phone to Hauwa, so that she can at least speak to her siblings. Her mother Rebecca shows Hauwa some of the newest family photos. The family has grown since Hauwa last saw them. “I am so thankful,” she says and she still can’t stop smiling as she holds her daughter close.

Watch video03:19

Chibok girls reunited with families



Abducted Chibok schoolgirl escapes Boko Haram

A group of 82 girls, abducted in 2014 by Boko Haram insurgents from their Chibok, Nigeria, school, were returned to the capital, Abuja, on May 7. One more girl escaped and is traveling to Abuja, the Nigerian government announced Thursday. Photo courtesy the Nigerian government/EPA

May 18 (UPI) — A girl abducted in 2014 by the Boko Haram insurgent group has escaped, a Nigerian government official confirmed.

Femi Adesina, spokesman for acting President Yemi Osinbajo, said Wednesday that Osinbajo made the announcement during a Federal Executive Council meeting, adding that the unidentified girl is traveling to the capital, Abuja. She will be reunited with 82 others, of a group of about 276 kidnapped from a Chibok school on April 14, 2014, who were freed 12 days ago, he said.

President Muhammadu Buhari, 74, returned to Nigeria from a medical stay in London to meet the girls on May 5, before returning to London.

Adesina also said Nigerian military forces were capable of defeating Boko Haram, a terrorist group involved in an eight-year campaign for an Islamist caliphate in Nigeria that has cost thousands of lives and displaced millions. Addressing concerns that the depleted Boko Haram is regrouping in Nigeria’s Sambisa forest, Adesina commented, “One thing you can be sure of is that this government has the capacity to confront any security challenge that arises. So, if they are regrouping they will be flushed out again. I believe that we have seen the worst of that insurgency. We are in a mopping-up process and I believe the mop-up would be completed.”

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Is a coup d’etat likely to happen in Nigeria while President Buhari is in the UK?


Ludovica Iaccino,International Business Times 10 hours ago

Breaking News: 4 Suicide Bombers And CJTF Member Killed In Borno

Suicide bombers Wednesday morning detonated explosives at three different locations in Muna area of Borno State.

The incident which occurred around 5 am and led to 11 injuries and 5 deaths occurred at Muna Usmanti, Muna Garage and Muna Ethopia areas of the state..

Among the dead persons were four suicide bombers and a member of security volunteer group known as Civilian JTF.

Spokesperson of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), North-East, Abdulkadir, Ibrahim disclosed that response agencies including emergency workers from Borno State Emergency Agency (BOSEMA) promptly responded to the distress call.

Ibrahim said;

“We have since taken the injured persons to hospital for proper medical attention while the dead bodies have been deposited in the mortuary.”


The post appeared first on Naijaloaded | Nigeria No. 1 Online Portal.

Nigerian Spy Chief Caught With $43 Million in Cash Is Suspended

File this one under “oops.” The head of Nigeria’s spy agency had $43 million of cash just lying around in one of his apartments.

Anti-corruption investigators became suspicious of Ayo Oke, head of Nigeria’s National Intelligence Agency, after a tip-off that a “haggard” looking woman wearing “dirty clothes” kept taking bags in and out of his seventh-story apartment in Lagos. So, on April 12, they raided his apartment and stumbled onto the mother lode. In the four-bedroom apartment, they found “neatly arranged” stacks of $43 million in U.S. dollars, sealed and hidden in various wardrobes and cabinets. They also found $36,000 worth of British pounds and $75,000 worth of Nigerian naira.

Nigeria’s anti-corruption body, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said it suspected the funds were linked to unlawful activities. Oke has’t yet made a public statement, but unnamed intelligence sources told local media there’s nothing to see here, and the cash was just being held for covert operations.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari isn’t buying it, and has suspended Oke pending an investigation. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will head the investigation and report back to Buhari with findings in two weeks.

Buhari campaigned on rooting out corruption but has struggled to make good on those promises since taking office in 2015. (It’s an issue that has plagued Nigeria for decades, particularly the country’s corruption-addled oil sector.)

The country’s anti-corruption body has uncovered a slew of cash bundles linked to government graft in recent months, thanks in part to a new policy that entitles whistleblowers to a small cut of any misused public funds recovered.

Photo credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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Death toll in Nigerian meningitis outbreak up dramatically

Some 8,057 suspected meningitis cases – most of them children – have been reported since the disease surfaced in December. More than 250 have died in just over a week, taking the total to 745.

Streptococcus pneumoniae Bakterien (picture-alliance/OKAPIA KG, Germany)

Most cases are in the northern states of Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger and Sokoto and there are fears that this outbreak could again spread across the border into Niger, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said on Wednesday.

Nigeria is one of 26 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa where large meningitis epidemics tend to occur. Outbreaks tend to peak in the dry season due to low humidity and dusty conditions and end when the rainy season arrives.

Fighting the disease

The Nigerian federal government said it has started a nationwide vaccination campaign aiming to cover millions of people.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said last week that a vaccination campaign run by the International Coordinating Group on Vaccine Provision is also underway in Nigeria.

If untreated, fatal in 50 percent of cases

Meningitis is an infection of the thin lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord and can cause brain damage.

It is caused by various types of bacteria, six of which can cause epidemics, and is transmitted between people through coughs and sneezes and facilitated by cramped living conditions and close contact.

Untreated, meningococcal meningitis – the bacterial form of the disease – is fatal in 50 percent of cases. Even when the disease is diagnosed early and treatment begins, 5 percent to 10 percent of patients die, usually within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.

A meningitis epidemic killed 1,100 people and infected more than 10,000 in Nigeria and neighboring Niger in 2015.

jbh/msh (AP, AFP)


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