Nigeria mosque suicide bombing kills dozens

A teenage suicide bomber has killed at least 50 people in the northeastern Nigerian town of Mubi, with the death toll expected to rise further. Officials believe jihadi group Boko Haram is responsible.

The interior of the mosque that was bombed

A suicide bomber killed dozens of people and injured scores more outside a mosque in the Nigerian town of Mubi during Tuesday’s morning prayers. Local police put the initial death toll at 50 people.

According to police spokesman Othman Abubakar, the young perpetrator detonated the explosives while mingling among the crowds of worshippers.

Read more: Is Islamic extremism on the rise in Africa?

A map of Nigeria

Abubakar added that many of the injured were receiving treatment nearby. Given the severity of the injuries, the death toll was expected to rise, he said.

Asked who was responsible for the bombing, Abubakar said “we don’t suspect anyone specifically, but we know those behind such kind of attacks,” implying that the attack had been perpetrated by the jihadi group, Boko Haram.

Watch video04:15

Boko Haram conflict threatens food security in Nigeria

Mubi is located in the northeastern region of Adamawa, next to Borno state where the militant group is based.

The Adamawa region has seen repeated attacks by insurgents in recent years. Boko Haram even took hold of the territory in 2014, but was pushed out by military and civial militia the following year.

Since 2009, at least 20,000 people in Nigeria have died at the hands of Boko Haram. An estimated further 2.5 million have also been forced to flee their homes, creating a vast humanitarian crisis. The extremists’ offensive has also spilled over into neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

dm/rt (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

Courtesy: DW

The forgotten Christians of Nigeria — faithful while enduring incredible persecution


By Larry Alex Taunton
Published October 15, 2017
FoxNews.com
“Don’t go. I swore I would never go back there,” came the voice of my friend Jay Smith on a trans-Atlantic Skype call. “I’ve been in
over sixty countries. I’ve been all over Africa. I lived there, and I’ve never felt unsafe the way I did in that country. There is
something especially terrifying about that place.”
“Good to know,” I replied. “Alan said that he goes there all the time. He said he even takes his children.”
Alan was a British politician who had recently attended one of my lectures in London. To hear him tell it, Nigeria was like Club Med.
“Alan?” Jay was incredulous. “Did Alan also tell you that when he goes he’s traveling with the British government and is
accompanied by heavily armed guards? You? You’re going to have an entirely different experience.”
This was my introduction to Nigeria. Jay’s opinion was not acquired from Trip Advisor. He had been there more than once. During
a 2008 visit, he spent nine hours hiding in the wheel well of a car while a mob went up and down a blocked highway looking for
Westerners to victimize. Nigeria was, in his view, unique to the African experience. It wasn’t that terrible things didn’t happen in
other countries; it was the sheer magnitude of them in Nigeria. Even other Africans are afraid of Nigeria and its well-earned
terrifying reputation.
I had been invited there by my friend, Jwan Zhumbes, the Anglican bishop of Bukuru. Jwan and I had done our doctoral work
together. He had asked me some years ago to come and teach the members of the diocese on issues of faith and culture. Jwan is
shepherd to a diocese that has been attacked by the Boko Haram and another Islamic group, the Fulani Herdsmen Militia. He was,
in my estimation, a great man doing a great work.
Now, months later, the mission was complete and it was time for me to leave the country. My time in Nigeria had been one of great
blessing. The experience defies a simple description or even a simple narrative. These are Christians whose churches, homes,
families and friends have been bombed, burned, and persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. Indeed, just last month, 20
Christians were slaughtered by the Fulani only a short drive from where I was staying. This is not uncommon. And yet, optimism
prevails with them where self-pity and a spirit of defeat might rule a lesser people.
Packing-up for the journey ahead, I noticed Jwan at my door. He looked upset.
“What is wrong?” I asked.
“It took the housekeeper a long time to answer the door,” he began. “For a moment, I feared something had happened to my friend
during the night.”
“I’m fine,” I reassured him. “I slept well.”

Courtesy: Yahoo/Fox News

Nigeria convicts 45 Boko Haram members in mass trial

The individuals have received prison sentences, but the government has refused to divulge other details, such as the names of the accused or charges faced. The mass trials have drawn criticism for a lack of transparency.

The ruins of a car after Boko Haram suicide bombing in Nigeria (picture-alliancce/AP Photo/J. Ola)

A Nigerian court on Friday sentenced 45 people to prison sentences after it ruled they had been members of the terror organization Boko Haram. The convicted individuals were part of closed-door mass trials that began earlier this week and in which 1,669 people stand accused of membership in the Islamist organization, which has been carrying out deadly attacks and kidnappings for eight years.

Read more: Trial of Boko Haram suspects in Nigeria poses legal nightmare

Nigeria’s Information Minister Lai Mohammed said Friday that the 45 had been sentenced to between three and 31 years in prison. However, he provided no additional information, such as names and ages of those convicted, or where they were arrested and what specific charges they had faced.

Nigeria's information minister Lai Mohammed (picture-alliance/dpa/K. Wigglesworth)Mohammed refused to provide details about the 1,669 people accused

Mohammed said only that the 45 were sentenced “following the conclusion of the first phase of the trial [in] which 575 Boko Haram suspects were arraigned.”

Of those arraigned, 468 were discharged with orders to undergo deradicalization and rehabilitation programs. Another 34 cases were thrown out, leaving 28 to face trial in the central cities of Abuja or Minna.

In total, 1,669 suspects had been brought to the Kainji military barracks in the central state of Niger to face trial. The suspects will be tried either at four civilian courts that have been set up at Kainji or at a different military base in the northeastern city of Maiduguri.

Optimism and criticism

The mass trials have drawn a mixture of cautious optimism and legal criticism.

Onlookers have praised the Nigerian government for taking judicial action against the terror organization, but many have also criticized the trials’ mass size and heavy secrecy, as well as the detention conditions of the accused.

Read more: Is Islamic extremism on the rise in Africa?

Individuals facing trial are being held at military facilities that are overcrowded and often lack basic sanitary conditions. Human rights groups have accused the Nigerian government of detaining people without reasonable suspicion and denying them access to lawyers.

In addition, international organizations have voiced concern over the lack of transparency around the trials, where media and public observers are barred from entering.

A mother shows photos of her kidnapped daughters (Thomson Reuters Foundation/O. Okakpu)A mother shows two photos of her eldest daughter, who was kidnapped by Boko Haram

“It is essential that Boko Haram insurgents are prosecuted and, if found guilty, held to account for killings and abuses they may have perpetrated, and that victims are able to receive justice,” said Rupert Colville, the UN human rights spokesperson.

However, he added that “any restrictions on the public nature of a trial, including for the protection of national security, must be both necessary and proportionate.”

Colville also pointed out that article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights entitles all defendants to a fair and public hearing. Nigeria is one of 74 nations that have signed the treaty.

Boko Haram has killed more than 20,000 people over the past eight years and displaced at least 2.2 million people, primarily from the northeastern corner of the country on the border to Chad.

In the past months, the Islamist terror group has carried out a series of deadly suicide bombings, often with women or children as the bombers. In May 2015, the group released 82 Chibok schoolgirls whom it had kidnapped three years prior.

Watch video02:54

Life no better after Boko Haram

cmb/cmk (AFP, Reuters, AP)

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‘Saudis shoot themselves in the foot bringing Qatar, Yemen, Syria & Iraq closer to Iran’

'Saudis shoot themselves in the foot bringing Qatar, Yemen, Syria & Iraq closer to Iran'
The Saudi regime has become so erratic that it turned against Qatar, one of the few regimes that have an identical ideology, and therefore brought Qatar closer to Iran, says professor of politics at Tehran University Seyed Mohammad Marandi.

Saudi Arabia has decided to suspend all dialogue with Qatar after Qatari media was accused of misreporting on phone conversations between the Emir of Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s defense minister.

Previously, US President Donald Trump urged the Gulf States to unite against Iran and expressed his willingness to act as a mediator between Doha and Riyadh.

However, in June, Trump alleged that Qatar was a sponsor of terrorism when Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the UAE first cut diplomatic and transport links with the Gulf nation.

RT: President Trump claims that the Qatar crisis is easy to solve. Why is it so hard to get the sides – Qatar and Saudi Arabia – to the negotiating table?

Seyed Mohammad Marandi: I think the most important problem is the Saud family itself and Mohammad bin Salman in particular. He is very young, he was born a billionaire. He has yes men surrounding him. He has created a mess, not just in his relationship with Qatar that we see this problem. He invaded Yemen. He has been killing the Yemeni people. His air force has been bombing hospitals, funerals, weddings, schools, and innocent civilians for almost three years now with Western support, with the US support both under Obama and Trump. And to no avail; he has lost the war effectively. He has been spreading Wahhabi extremism – he, his father, and the regime before his father have been spreading extremism n Syria, in Iraq, and across the world. Wahhabism is something the Saudis export.

What is extraordinary is that the Saudi regime has become so erratic and unpredictable that now it has turned against one of the few regimes that has an identical ideology… Qatar and Saudi Arabia are the two countries that explicitly declare themselves to be Wahhabi… It is not just an issue of sectarianism, the Saudis are even turning against Wahhabis like themselves. I don’t think the US will have an easy task in bringing these countries together. And even if they do, I don’t think the Qataris are going to trust the Saudis in the future. And Trump himself is not considered to be a very reliable partner, as the Republican Party has just discovered themselves.

The present dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the UAE is difficult to understand because it seems to be totally artificial, it doesn’t seem to have any reality behind it at all. As for President Trump’s offer to mediate, don’t forget he was asked at a press conference after the formal statements have been made, by journalists, whether he supported Kuwaiti mediation. And he said, “Yes, we do support Kuwaiti mediation.” And then he couldn’t resist adding, “I would be very ready to mediate myself if that would be useful.” I am not surprised that he said that. Maybe it is helpful. Any world leader might have said the same thing.– Oliver Miles, former UK ambassador to Libya

RT: The crisis boils down to Qatar’s alleged terrorist links with Iran. Are there any new developments on that front?

SMM: The Iranian-Qatari relationship has never been severed despite the Saudi pressure. And in fact, the Saudis have failed to disrupt the relationship between Iran and other countries, such as Oman. The Saudis, on the other hand, are putting enormous pressure on Kuwait to distance itself from Iran. But in the case of Qatar, I think it backfired. They went way too far by trying to humiliate the country and take away its sovereignty. The Qataris, which were blockaded not only by Saudi Arabia but its allies like the UAE and Bahrain from the land and the sea and air… they were preventing food from getting in. And the only way forward for Qatar was to turn to Iran. And of course, the Iranians felt that they had an obligation to support the Qataris. And this is something that the Saudis have been doing for a long time: the Iranian relationship with the people of Yemen has evolved, improved, and they have grown closer to each other because of the Saudi invasion of the country. The same is true with what the Saudis and their allies did in Syria and Iraq: they basically brought these countries closer to Iran because these countries saw the Saudis’ Wahhabi extremist ideology, which Al-Qaeda and ISIS and Boko Haram are linked to, as a threat to their existence, and they moved to Iran which they saw as a very reliable partner. That is, basically, the Saudis who have been shooting themselves in the foot time after time.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Courtesy, RT

SHOCKING CONFESSION!!! I Have Contacts And Links With Boko Haram – APC Senator Breaks Down In Tears, Implicates Former Vice President

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Former Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, on Tuesday, asked a Federal High Court, in Abuja, to quash the alleged sponsorship of Boko Haram case against him, because he has no case to answer in the matter.

Ndume, who accepted that he had contact with the Boko Haram sect, however, said that he got the contact when he was appointed into the Presidential Committee on Security Matters, to negotiate for peace with the terrorists.

Insisting that the charges against him were unjust, the Senator explained that the former Vice President, Namadi Sambo, and the then Director-General of the Department of State Security Services, DSS, were aware of the said contact with Boko Haram.

However, the Federal Government told the court that Ndume has to defend himself, because its witnesses have proved that he had information on the sect, which he refused to disclose to government.

Recall, that Ndume who is under suspension at the Senate, has since 2011, been on trial on a four-count charge bordering on allegations of supporting the activities of the Boko Haram terrorist group, leveled against him by the Federal Government.

However, the Lawmaker in a no-case submission filed before Justice Gabriel Kolawole, through his Counsel, Ricky Tarfa, argued that the Federal Government has been unable to establish a prima facie case against him, or linked him with the said crime.

He insisted that the charges leveled against him have not been proven beyond reasonable doubt as required by law, at the end of the prosecution’s case.

Tarfa, Ndume’s Counsel argued: “Clearly, from the totality of the evidence adduced by the prosecution, there is no ingredient of the charges proved as required by law.

“The analysis of the mobile phones seized from the defendant and subjected to forensic examination by the prosecution, did not reveal any offence committed.”

Based on the above argument, Counsel to Ndume, prayed the court to strike out the charges against the Senator, because no prima facie case has been established against him, to warrant his going to defend himself.

Nonetheless, the Prosecution Counsel, Grace Okafor, contended Ndume’s prayer, and urged the court to mandate him to open his defence in the charges against him.

Okafor told the court that Ndume has a case to answer, since the government’s witnesses have effectively linked him with the crime.

According to the Prosecutor’s Lawyer, the charge against Ndume borders on his failure to disclose material information to security agents on Boko Haram, and rendering support to the terrorist group.

She further argued that Ndume had in his own statement tendered and admitted in court, confirmed that he has enormous information on Boko Haram, which he never disclosed to government.

Okafor said: “His admission that he was a member of the Presidential Committee on Security Matters, also corroborates the evidence of the prosecution, that he had volume of information on the terrorists group, which he refused to give to the government.

“The volume of information found on him was revealing, and warranted his being charged to court.

“Let the point be made here that witnesses of the government have by one way or the other, linked the charge against the defendant, and this court as an impartial court, should order the defendant to open defence on the charges against him. It is even in the interest of the defendant and justice, that this case be heard on its own merit, instead of upholding the no-case submission.”

Nigerian forces conduct unauthorized search of UN main base

Nigerian forces raided the UN’s compound in Maiduguri, the epicenter of a conflict with Islamist group Boko Haram. The search could hurt the already fragile relationship between the military and the world body.

Nigeria UN Camp in Maiduguri (Getty Images/AFP/S. Heunis)

The Nigerian military conducted what the UN called an unauthorized search of its main operating base in the country’s northeast in the early hours of Friday.

“Members of the Nigerian security forces entered a United Nations base for humanitarian workers in Maiduguri … without authorization,” said Samantha Newport, a spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. “The United Nations is extremely concerned that these actions could be detrimental to the delivery of lifesaving aid to the millions of vulnerable people in the northeast of Nigeria.”

The objective of the search was not immediately known but an internal UN memo seen by AFP news agency suggested that the Nigerian forces might have been searching for Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau.

The raids followed rumors that the Boko Haram chief was hiding in the compound known as the “Red Roof.”

“Information about Shekau’s presence in the Red Roof was already being spread yesterday on social media,” said the document, that AFP said was apparently issued by the UN’s Department of Safety.

The memo ordered the UN staff in Maiduguri to work from home, fearing demonstrations against the organization and other foreign groups active in the area.

A UN source told AFP that such searches are illegal under international law and risk raising suspicions about the organization’s work.

 Nigeria UN Camp in Maiduguri The conflict with Boko Haram has left two million homeless

Nigeria’s theater commander for the conflict with Boko Haram, Ibrahim Attahiru, told Reuters news agency he did not know the reason for the raid on the UN compound.

The almost decade-old insurgency led by the jihadists has driven at least 2 million people from their homes and left almost 7 million in need humanitarian assistance.

Throughout the conflict, the army has been accused of human rights violations including unlawful detention, sexual abuse and extrajudicial killings.

ap/msh (AFP, Reuters)

Watch video01:36

Boko Haram insurgency leaves children malnourished

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Nigeria: Military Determined to Wipe Out Remnants of Boko Haram – Minister

Photo: Daily Trust

Army.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, on Monday reaffirmed the determination of the military to completely wipe out remnants of Boko Haram in the the country.

Dan-Ali gave the assurance during an award presentation by the Borno chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) at the NUJ’s Combined Press Week in Maiduguri.

Dan-Ali was presented with a Platinum Award of Honour by Gov. Kashim Shettima on behalf of the NUJ for the military’s efforts at restoring peace in the North-East.

“I am really happy and honoured to be in Borno once again and to receive an award for my ministry.

“I want to thank the organisers of the programme for recognising the efforts of my ministry toward restoring peace and unity in Borno in particular and Nigeria in general.

“Let me use this opportunity to condole the Borno State Government on the sad incident of July 25 at Magumeri where oil exploration teams were ambushed along with the Military.

“Civilian Joint Task Force, University staff and some oil workers were killed, while some were held in Boko Haram captivity.

“I want to assure that this won’t bring any setbacks to our troops as we are determined more than ever before to completely clear the remnants of Boko Haram in our nation.

“I have ordered the Ministry of Defence to carry out thorough investigation on the attack to establish if there is a possibility of the locals and the insurgents who perpetrated the attack.

“Provision of security is not only the responsibility of the military and other security agencies, rather it is a collective responsibility of all.

“Therefore, all stakeholders must play an important role.

“I also want to extend our appreciation to the NUJ Borno Chapter for its unbiased report on the campaign against Boko Haram.

“Your sense of patriotism and commitment has contributed immensely to the successes of the war against insurgency.

“However, despite all the successes recorded, the negative reports from some media organisations is highly uncharitable and unpatriotic. These negative reports have really dampened the morale of our fighting troops.

“We, therefore, urged the media to emulate the journalists reporting professionally in Borno. They must rise up and place the unity of Nigeria above all parochial sentiments.

“I, will, therefore make a passionate call to religious clerics and political leaders to intervene in establishing dialogue with the aggrieved parties to enable us to bring peace to our nation,” Dan-Ali said.

The President of the NUJ, Abdulwaheed Odusile, commended the military for restoring relative peace in the North-East.

“I was in Maiduguri in September 2016, when I went back, I told my friends that I stayed out until 1 a.m. and they couldn’t believe me.

“What we have been doing in Borno shows that we are patriotic and determined to keep the peace,” Odusile said. (NAN)

Nigeria

Boko Haram Kills 31 Fishermen in Lake ChadGovernor Kashim Shettima of Borno on Tuesday confirmed that Boko Haram insurgents had killed 31 fishermen at Baga in… Read more »

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