Africa

The UN's James Nunan said the attack happened in Ntumbo, a village in northwestern Cameroon on Friday. Details of the violence emerged Sunday. Nunan told CNN that an unspecified number of residents were injured, including a pregnant woman. He added that at least 600 villagers have since fled the area.Rignyu Solange, who comes from Ntumbo, said nine members of her family were killed when security forces searching for separatists burned many houses in the village."My sister and her family were killed in their sleep as the military torched houses because they suspected that separatist fighters were hiding in the village. I want the perpetrators of this act to be severely punished," Solange told CNN.

'Heinous crimes'

The death toll from Friday's attack has risen to 32, Cameroonian activist and human rights lawyer Felix Agbor Nkongho from the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy told CNN on Monday."The military officers responsible for these heinous crimes must be brought to justice," he said.Cameroon army spokesman Atonfack Guemo disputed the figures, saying only a woman and four children were killed in the crossfire between security forces and the separatists during the attack.He said a team of six soldiers engaged the separatist fighters in the area, killing seven of them. He added that the fighting continued into the night and fuel containers hit by gunfire exploded, causing a blaze that spread through homes."This caused the death of five persons; a woman and four children, contrary to social media reports," he said.

Anglophone revolt

Separatists in English-speaking regions of Cameroon have been fighting with government forces and government-backed militias for several years.Both sides stand accused of violence against civilians, which began in 2016 after residents in the country's Anglophone provinces, where 20 percent of Cameroon's population live, protested the government led by French speakers.Some groups in the region have also been fighting for an independent nation.Amnesty International says 400 killed in 'escalating violence' in Cameroon's Anglophone regions this yearThe Anglophone conflict has internally displaced more than 670,000 people in affected areas, while 60,000 CamerooniaRead More – Source

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Nikita Pearl Waligwa, who appeared in the 2016 Disney film "Queen of Katwe," was 15.The movie tells the true story of Phiona Mutesi who went from living in Uganda's slums to becoming an international chess star. Nikita played the main character's friend Gloria in the film.Nikita's school, Gayaza High School, tweeted about her death Sunday. "Fare thee well Nikita Pearl Waligwa. You were a darling to many and we have lost you to brain tumor at such a tender age," the school's tweet read. "Rest in Perfect Peace dear." The "Queen of Katwe" also starred Lupita Nyong'o who said on Instagram that Nikita played Gloria with "such vibrancy." "In her real life she had the enormous challenge of battling brain cancer," Nyong'o said. "My thoughts and prayers are with her family and community as they come to terms with having to say goodbye so soon."David Oyelowo, who also sRead More – Source

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Libya's internationally recognised government on Tuesday halted talks hosted by the United Nations to halt war over the capital after eastern forces shelled Tripoli's port, almost hitting a highly explosive gas tanker and disrupting fuel supplies.

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The U.N. has been hosting in Geneva ceasefire talks between officers from the Tripoli government and the eastern-based Libya National Army (LNA), which has been trying to take the capital in a near year-long campaign displacing at least 150,000 people.

The talks had been agreed by foreign powers backing rival parties at a summit in Germany a month ago, an event that has not halted a war that has ripped apart the oil producer since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The LNA on Tuesday shelled Tripoli port, saying first it had attacked a Turkish vessel bringing weapons but saying later it had hit an arms depot. Heavy artillery fire could be also heard late at night in parts of Tripoli though details were unclear.

In response, the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord said in a statement it suspended its participation in ceasefire talks "until firm responses are taken against the attacker, and we will respond firmly to the attack in appropriate timing."

"Negotiations don't mean anything without permanent ceasefire guarantees returning the displaced people and the security of the capital and the other cities," it added.

Tripoli port is a major gateway for food, fuel, wheat and other imports for the capital, which is home to the internationally recognised government.

State oil firm NOC said it had urgently evacuated all fuel tankers from the port after a missile struck meters away "from a highly explosive liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanker discharging in the port".

"Todays attack on Tripoli port could have led to a humanitarian and environmental disaster," NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said.

"The city does not have operational fuel storage facilities … the consequences will be immediate; hospitals, schools, power stations and other vital services will be disrupted," he said.

Tripoli-based forces said the LNA had fired four missiles.

Since January, Turkey has sent several ships carrying arms and heavy trucks to Tripoli and Misrata, another western port allied to the Tripoli government, diplomats say.

The LNA is allied to a parallel government in eastern Libya supported by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan and Russian mercenaries. Eastern ports and airports are out of range of the Tripoli forces and its Turkish drones.

Talks

Tuesday's attack on the port unfolded as officers from the Tripoli forces and the LNA held a second round of indirect talks in Geneva to establish a permanent ceasefire. Both sides refused again to sit in the same rRead More – Source

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In tonight's edition: the world's ongoing plague of desert locusts is devastating crops in East Africa. The insects pose a serious threat to food security in a region where up to 25 million people are already struggling to get enough to eat. And the UN wants an independent investigation into the killing of at least 23 villagers in English Speaking Cameroon. Finally; in DR Congo President Tshisekedi promised overpasses in Kinshasa to reduce trafRead More – Source

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The UN called on Cameroon Tuesday to conduct an independent investigation into the "shocking" killing of 23 villagers in a troubled English-speaking region and to ensure the perpetrators be held accountable.

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Citing information from UN colleagues on the ground, the UN rights office said that two pregnant women and 15 children — nine of them under the age of five — were among those killed in Friday's attack, which opposition parties blamed on members of the armed forces.

"We urge the authorities to ensure that the investigation is independent, impartial and thorough, and that those responsible are held fully to account," it said in a statement.

The UN had previously put the toll from Friday's attack at up to 22, but Tuesday's statement said 23 people had died in the "shocking episode".

Witnesses had told the UN that around 40 armed men, including members of the security and defence forces, had attacked the village in Cameroon's Northwest Region — one of two English-speaking regions grappling with separatist violence since October 2017.

According to the witness testimony, the attack saw the men "opening fire on people and burning down houses", the rights office said.

Cameroon's army on Monday denied charges that members of the armed forces were responsible for the deaths in the Ngarbuh district of Ntumbo village, describing the event as "quite simply an unfortunate accident, the collateral result of security operations in the region".

The authorities said people inside the village had attacked security forces "with the exchange of shots igniting a fire that affected several dwellings", according to the UN statement.

Violence in anglophone regions

The tragedy marks only the latest deadly incident in the two conflict-plagued English-speaking regions — the southwest and northwest — where more than 3,000 people have died and at least 700,000 have fled their homes in the past two and a half years.

English-speakers account for nearly a fifth of Cameroon's population of 24 million, who are majority French-speaking.

Years of grievances at perceived discrimination snowballed into a declaration of independence in October 2017 and a government crackdown.

"We Read More – Source

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Fifteen women and five children were trampled to death on Monday in a stampede for food and money for refugees in southeast Niger, a regional governor said.

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The accident occurred at a youth and culture centre in Diffa, the main town of a region of the same name that hosts more than a quarter of a million refugees and internally displaced people.

"Unfortunately, fifteen women and five children died… in this regrettable drama," Issa Lemine, the regional governor of Diffa, said on television after visiting the injured in hospital.

Aid workers confirmed the death toll and said about 10 people had been injured.

The region which abuts Nigeria and Chad has been repeatedly hit by attacks by Nigeria's Boko Haram jihadist group since 2015.

It hosts 119,000 Nigerian refugees, 109,000 internally-displaced people and 30,000 Nigeriens who have come home from Nigeria because of the instability in its northeast, according to UN figures released in October.

The aid being distributed had been given by Babagana Umara Zulum, the governor of Borno state in northeast Nigeria, a Nigerian official told AFP.

He had come to the region to visit camps for refugees and the displaced, and had already left the town when the stampede occurred.

Crowd

A large amount of food, cooking oil and clothing, as well as money, was due to be distributed, a Diffa municipal worker told AFP.

"Thousands of people were in the courtyard of the MJC (Culture and Youth Centre) and nearby," he said.

"As soon as the first people received their rations, the compressed crowd started to get excited, the organisers were swiftly overwhelmed and then it all kicked off — women, children and the fit ones started to push," the employee said.

"The weakest people fell to the ground. Some were injured and others were crushed to death."

A local resident told AFP that aid workers were distributing 5,000 naira ($13.75, 12.7 euros), referring to Nigeria's national currency.

Diffa governor Lemine said a successful distribution had taken place on Sunday.

"Thousands of people, most of them refugees, heard about the handout and left the camps, sometimes travelling up to 100 kilometres (60 miles) to get to Diffa," the source said.

A local official said he was astonished at the situation: "Normally, people who are eRead More – Source

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In tonight's edition: Mike Pompeo U.S Secretary of State heads to Ethiopia from Angola on his trip to the continent. The first from washington in 18 months. The last South African president to lead under apartheid has apologised for saying that white minority rule was not a crime against humanity. And we head to Salt River in Cape where the annual Public Read More – Source

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced corruption and touted American business on Monday during the second leg of an African tour in Angola, where the government is seeking to claw back billions of dollars looted from state coffers.

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Pompeo is aiming to promote U.S. investment as an alternative to Chinese loans while assuaging concerns over a planned U.S military withdrawal and the expansion of visa restrictions targeting four African countries.

In Angolas capital Luanda, Pompeo met with President Joao Lourenco, who took office in 2017 promising wide-ranging economic reforms and a crackdown on the endemic graft that marked his predecessor Jose Eduardo dos Santos four-decade rule.

“Here in Angola, damage from corruption is pretty clear,” he told a group of businessmen following that meeting. “This reform agenda that the president put in place has to stick.”

Portugals public prosecutor has ordered the seizure of bank accounts belonging to Isabel dos Santos, the former presidents billionaire daughter, who is a suspect in an Angolan fraud investigation.

Reputedly the richest woman in Africa, she has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Africas second-largest oil producer

Angola, with sub-Saharan Africas third-largest economy and its second-largest oil producer is ranked as one of the worlds most corrupt nations, in 165th place on a list of 180 countries, according to anti-corruption group Transparency International.

U.S. oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron have significant stakes in Angolan oil fields.

Last year, Chevron signed onto a consortium to develop Angolas natural gas assets alongside Italys Eni, Frances Total, BP and Angolan state oil company Sonangol.

“Weve got a group of energy companies that have put more than $2 billion in a natural gas project. That will rebound to the benefit of the American businesses for sure, but to the Angolan people for sure as well,” Pompeo said.

Despite U.S. investments, the bulk of Angolas oil production is destined for China, which holds the lions share of Angolan foreign debt.

The Trump administration has accused China of predatory lending in Africa, where Beijing has loaned governments billions of dollars for infrastructure projects in exchange for access to naturalRead More – Source

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The largest flow of African migrants trying to escape to a better life in Europe is attempting to do so via one country: Libya. Although some arrive by choice, others come by force, and Libya is now described as a "purgatory" where migrants face appalling conditions, sexual abuse, torture and becoming the victims of human traffickers, before facing the deadliest stretch of the Mediterranean Sea. Our guest Caroline Gluck,Read More – Source

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Gunmen have killed 24 people and wounded 18 in an attack on a Protestant church in a village in northern Burkina Faso, the regional governor said Monday.

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A group of "armed terrorists" burst into the village of Pansi, in Yagha province "and attacked the peaceful local population after having identified them and separated them from non-residents", Colonel Salfo Kabore said in a statement sent to AFP.

The assault occurred on Sunday during a weekly service, security officials said.

"The provisional toll is 24 killed, including the pastor… 18 wounded and individuals who were kidnapped," Kabore said.

A resident of the nearby town of Sebba said Pansi villagers had fled there for safety.

One of the poorest countries in the world, Burkina Faso is on the front line of a jihadist insurgency advancing in the Sahel.

Since 2015, around 750 people have been killed in Burkina and around 600,000 people have fled their homes.

Christians and churches have become Read More – Source