Zimbabwe author convicted over placard protest

Acclaimed Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga has been convicted of inciting violence by carrying a placard calling for political reform. The magistrate said the protest could have incited other people to join, and cause a breach of peace. Ms Dangarembga paid a fine of about $110 (£100) to avoid serving a three-month jail term. She had pleaded not guilty in a trial that critics say is the latest sign of a government crackdown on dissent. Outside the court, she said, she was not surprised by the conviction. “The space for freedom of expression and freedom of the media is shrinking and … Continue reading Zimbabwe author convicted over placard protest

William Ruto to be sworn in as president in Kenya

As many as 60,000 people are expected to attend a ceremony for William Ruto’s inauguration as Kenya’s new president following his election win last month. Defeated candidate Raila Odinga said he would not be present as he had “serious concerns” about his opponent’s victory. Mr Ruto won the election by a narrow margin of just 50.5% of the vote, to Mr Odinga’s 48.8%. Mr Odinga has alleged that the result was rigged, but the Supreme Court has ruled the election was free and fair. At least 20 heads of state are expected to witness the inauguration at a stadium in … Continue reading William Ruto to be sworn in as president in Kenya

Two military personnel killed and ten reported missing after attack in northern Burkina Faso

At least two Burkina Faso soldiers have been killed and more than a dozen have been reported missing following an attack by unidentified gunmen in the Sahel region, located in the north of the country and one of the most affected by the deteriorating security situation. According to information gathered by the Burkinabe news portal Infowakat, the attack was carried out against a detachment in Oudalan and resulted in the wounding of twelve soldiers, including four in serious condition. The Burkinabe authorities have not yet commented on the attack, with no claim of responsibility. Various jihadist groups operate in the … Continue reading Two military personnel killed and ten reported missing after attack in northern Burkina Faso

Several civilians killed in separatists attack on bus in Cameroon

At least six civilians were killed and eight injured when separatists in southwest Cameroon opened fire on a public bus on Tuesday, officials and the head of a regional hospital said. Anglophone insurgents fighting to carve out an independent state out of Cameroon’s English-speaking North West and South West regions have escalated attacks, killings and kidnappings this year. The bus, travelling from the economic capital Douala to the city of Kumba, came under fire near the town of Ekona, said a transport syndicate official who did not wish to be named for security reasons. A parliamentarian for Ekona’s constituency, Findi … Continue reading Several civilians killed in separatists attack on bus in Cameroon

Many civilians killed in Burkina Faso attack

Thirty-five civilians were killed and 37 were wounded Monday when an IED blast hit a convoy carrying supplies in Burkina Faso’s jihadist-hit north, the governor of the Sahel region said. “One of the vehicles carrying civilians hit an improvised explosive device. The provisional toll is 35 dead and 37 injured, all civilians,” a statement said by the governor Rodolphe Sorgho said.  The convoy of supplies to the restive north was escorted by the army and the incident took place between Djibo and Bourzanga, he said. “The escorts quickly secured the perimetre and took measures to help the victims,” the statement … Continue reading Many civilians killed in Burkina Faso attack

Kidnapped US Catholic nun freed in Burkina Faso

A US Catholic nun who was kidnapped by armed men in April in Burkina Faso has been freed, the bishop of the local north-east diocese of Kaya has said. “Sister Suellen is currently in a safe place and in good health,” Bishop Theophile Nare said in a statement. Suellen Tennyson, 83, was taken hostage from a local parish in the middle of the night, leaving behind her glasses and blood pressure medication. The identity of the kidnappers is not known. However, several militant groups have carried out attacks in Burkina Faso. Bishop Nare said he did not have any information … Continue reading Kidnapped US Catholic nun freed in Burkina Faso

Tragic: Dozens dead in Giza Coptic church

Dozens of people have died after a fire broke out at a church in Egypt, many of them crushed during a desperate scramble to escape. Officials say the number of dead is at least 41, with dozens injured. Children are believed to be among the dead. An electrical fire broke out as 5,000 worshippers gathered for Mass at the Coptic Abu Sifin church in Giza, security sources told Reuters. The fire blocked an entrance, causing a stampede, they said. Citing hospital records, CNN reported that some 18 children, aged between 3 to 16 years old, were killed. Fire services said … Continue reading Tragic: Dozens dead in Giza Coptic church

Mali authorities arrest nearly 50 soldiers from Ivory Coast

Malian authorities arrested nearly 50 soldiers from Ivory Coast who came to Mali to work for a contracting company of the United Nations mission in Mali. The government made the announcement Monday calling the Ivorian soldiers “mercenaries,” in a move that could raise tensions between the two West African countries. Two aircraft arrived at Mali’s international airport Sunday with the 49 soldiers “with their weapons and ammunition of war, as well as other military equipment,” said Malian government spokesman Col. Abdoulaye Maiga. They “were illegally on the national territory of Mali,” and the transitional government considers them mercenaries, he added. U.N … Continue reading Mali authorities arrest nearly 50 soldiers from Ivory Coast

Tragic: Fifteen people shot dead in South Africa township bar

South Africa police says at least 15 people have been shot dead in a bar in the South African township of Soweto. Police said gunmen entered the Orlando East tavern in the early hours of Sunday morning and started firing randomly at a group of young people. They then fled the scene in a white minibus. No motive for the attack has been established, police said. Several more people are in a critical condition in hospital. The victims are believed to be between 19 and 35 years old. “Bodies were on top of each other with blood all over. We … Continue reading Tragic: Fifteen people shot dead in South Africa township bar

Photos: 900 inmates escape as terrorists attack prison in Nigeria’s capital

Nearly 900 inmates escaped in a prison break in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, officials said. They blamed the attack on Islamic extremist rebels. At least 443 of the 879 escapees are still missing, Umar Abubakar, a spokesman for the Nigerian Correctional Service said. Hundreds of others have either been recaptured or turned themselves in at police stations. Officials will “track all fleeing inmates and return them to custody”, said Mr Abubakar. The “very determined” rebels attacked the Kuje maximum prison in Abuja on Tuesday night with “very high-grade explosives”, killing one guard on duty, according to Shuaib Belgore, permanent secretary … Continue reading Photos: 900 inmates escape as terrorists attack prison in Nigeria’s capital

Nigerian politician alleged to have trafficked child to UK in organ harvesting plot

Beatrice and Ike Ekweremadu A senior Nigerian politician and his wife have been charged with human trafficking after allegedly smuggling a 15-year-old boy into Britain in order to harvest his kidney for their sick daughter. Ike Ekweremadu, 60, a district senator and lawyer, has been charged alongside his wife, Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55, with conspiracy to arrange and facilitate the travel of another person with a view to exploitation. Mr Ekweremadu, one of the most senior and well-connected politicians in Nigeria, was appointed visiting professor of corporate and international linkages at the University of Lincoln earlier this month.  He was … Continue reading Nigerian politician alleged to have trafficked child to UK in organ harvesting plot

Kidnapped Nigerian Church leader Samuel Kanu regains freedom

The head of the Methodist Church in Nigeria, Samuel Kanu, has been freed after being abducted on Sunday, a church official have confirmed . He was travelling with two other priests on a highway in the south-eastern state of Abia when they were kidnapped. It is unclear how they were freed, but separatist groups frequently carry out abductions in the region. His release has led to jubilation in Nigeria’s Christian community. Soon after the news of the abduction came out, members of the Methodist Church in the country started hourly chain-prayers for the release of Dr Kanu and the other … Continue reading Kidnapped Nigerian Church leader Samuel Kanu regains freedom