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Boko Haram terror as Kano is bombed

January 22, 2012 Leave a comment

boko haram, kano, nigeria, bombing, Mohammed Yusuf

The Nigerian Islamic sect, Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for setting off multiple bombs in the Nothern city of Kano where hundreds have been reported killed.

Despite the Sultan of Sokoto Sa’adu Abubakar has called the sect “anti-Islamic” and an embarrassment to Islam, the sect appears to be thriving andhas recently increased attacks as it aims to make Nigeira, or parts thereof, an Islamic state.

Boko Haram has said their violent action was to retaliate for the arrest of many of its members by the government. The group’s spokesman, Abdul Qaqa told journalists in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital that they would carry out more attacks if the members were not freed immediately.

Boko Haram promotes a version of Islam which makes it “haram”, or forbidden, for Muslims to take part in any political or social activity associated with Western society.

It is officially called People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad or, ama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad and was founded 10 years ago by charismatic preacher, Mohammed Yusuf.

Boko Haram propagates a version of Islam that not only forbids any interaction with the Western culture but it is also against the traditional Muslim establishment and the government of Nigeria in Abuja.

Wealth of Agricultural Knowledge

October 16, 2010 Leave a comment

A first of its kind event in Africa, the “AgKnowledge Africa Share Fair,” will bring together 300 innovators and leaders across the continent to share promising methods, tools and approaches that help stimulate and propagate Africa’s agricultural and rural development knowledge. The “Share Fair” will be held on 18-21 October, 2010 at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Addis Ababa.

Africa’s rural areas and the people who live and work for them are packed with knowledge, information and data; and stimulating the creation, sharing, communication and targeted use of this knowledge is a vital driver for African agricultural development. As never before, innovators across the continent are drawing on a mix of traditional communication approaches, the power of new information and communication technologies like the Internet and mobile phones, and media like television and publishing to create and put knowledge to use in agriculture and rural development.

Like the first  “Knowledge Share Fair”  held at FAO in 2009 in Rome, Italy, the event will be a ‘fair’ that showcases diverse knowledge and the multiple ways it is created, shared, communicated, and applied in development contexts.  The event will  cover a wide range of knowledge types and modes of sharing — oral, visual, drama, music, video, radio, documentary, publishing, storytelling, web-based, geospatial, networked, mobile, computer-based, SMS, or journalistic – reflecting the knowledge, experience and wisdom of Africa’s farmers, producers, researchers, innovators and rural development workers.

Learning sessions will include hands-on training in the use of Knowledge Sharing tools such as social networking (online) media, Google tools , popular media, face-to-face knowledge sharing methods ,and academic social networking using the online collaborative tool called Mendeley. Participants will also have interactive sessions on four key areas – Agriculture and water; Agriculture and climate change; Land, and Livestock.

Ivory Coast leader vows cocoa, infrastructure revamp

October 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo vowed to reconstruct a West African nation plagued by years of war, crisis and neglect on Saturday, promising to double cocoa production and revamp infrastructure if elected.

A failed 2002 rebellion against Gbagbo split the world’s top cocoa grower into a rebel north and government-run south, triggering a crisis that scared investment from what was once the region’s star economy.

Elections slated for Oct. 31 are meant to resolve the crisis and reunify the country. They are five years overdue, but look increasingly likely to happen at last, now that disputes over the voter register and rebel disarmament have been resolved.

At a ceremony to officially declare his candidacy to the coalition of parties backing him, Gbagbo said he would work quickly to repair the damage done by eight years of paralysis, paying special attention to infrastructure and cocoa.

“We have to double our cocoa capacity. Instead of 1.2 million tonnes, we must produce two million tonnes at least,” he told cheering supporters waving pom poms in the sky blue and white of his Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) colours in Abidjan’s palm-fringed Hotel Ivoire.

“We are going to resuscitate our cocoa industry.”

The presidential polls pitting Gbagbo against main opposition challengers Henri Konan Bedie and Alassane Ouattara are likely to be too close to call between the three of them and most forecasters expect the vote to go to a second round.

Foreign based group behind Nigeria bombs, president

October 4, 2010 Leave a comment

A small terrorist group based outside Nigeria not militants from the oil-producing Niger Delta carried out last week’s car bomb attacks in the capital Abuja, President Goodluck Jonathan said on Sunday.

Two car bombs exploded near a parade marking Nigeria’s 50th anniversary of independence on Friday, killing at least 12 people.

The attacks were claimed by Nigeria’s main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).

A MEND statement signed Jomo Gbomo – the pseudonym used by the group to claim previous attacks on Nigeria’s oil industry – was emailed to media warning the area should be evacuated an hour before the Abuja bombs went off.

But Jonathan said investigations had revealed MEND members knew nothing about the attacks and they had been carried out by a small group based outside Nigeria, sponsored by “unpatriotic elements within the country”.

“It is a small terrorist group that resides outside Nigeria that was paid by some people within to perpetrate the dastardly act,” Jonathan said, according to a statement from his office.

“We are on their trail and I promise Nigerians that the matter will be investigated to the last. Until everybody is brought to book, we will not rest.”

Nigeria’s secret service has said it received foreign tip-offs ahead of the attacks and had stepped up security accordingly, including towing 65 vehicles from the streets and cordoning off roads leading to the parade ground.

Rwanda alleges U.N. Congo report threat to region’s stability

October 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Rwanda government spokeswoman and Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo described the draft document to be released on Oct.1 as flawed and dangerous. Its official publication will include comments from concerned countries, including Rwanda.

“Our comments to the U.N. today demonstrate how the Mapping Exercise has been a moral and intellectual failure — as well as an insult to history,” Ms Mushikiwabo said in a statement.

Rwanda on Thursday presented seven objections to a U.N. report accusing its troops of committing atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo and said publishing it could threaten regional stability.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights report details some 600 serious crimes committed by various forces from a number of nations in Congo from 1993-2003.

In August, Rwanda threatened to pull its 3,500 U.N. peacekeepers out of Sudan’s western Darfur region, following the leaked report’s accusations that the crimes committed could be construed as genocide.

President Paul Kagame later decided to keep its troops in the conflict-torn territory after consultations with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

U.N. peacekeepers were widely criticised for failing to prevent the 1994 slaughter of 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda that ended only after Tutsi-led fighters under current President Kagame retook control of the country.

Rwanda’s army then invaded Congo, ostensibly to hunt down Hutu fighters who had taken part in the killings and fled into eastern Congo along with over a million Hutu civilians.

The U.N. probe accused Rwanda of systematically killing tens of thousands of Hutu refugees — crimes that it said could be considered as genocide if proven by a competent court.

In its objections, Rwanda said the leaked draft lacks historical context, in particular the ‘immediate and serious threat posed by armed and ideologically charged refugees’ living just over the border.

Rwanda said the report used flawed methodology, ‘the lowest imaginable evidentiary standard’ and relied too much on the use of anonymous sources.

The central African country said the U.N. had been manipulated to rewrite history and that the draft contradicted eyewitness accounts saying Hutu fighters, often posing as civilians, used the refugee camps as cover.

The genocide charge also contradicts Rwanda’s efforts repatriate, resettle and reintegrate several million Hutu refugees, the statement said.

“Given these objections, it seems clear that no amount of tinkering can resuscitate the credibility of this fundamentally misguided process,” said Mushikiwabo.

Neighbouring Uganda and Burundi have also raised objections to their being mentioned as having taken part in the abuses outlined in the report.

(FGM) in Africa

September 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Africa
afrol News – FGM

News articles
» 27.01.2003 – Egyptians mobilise against female genital mutilation
» 29.10.2002 – Togolese anti-FGM legislation shows results
» 01.10.2002 – Female genital mutilation punished effectively in Burkina Faso
» 20.08.2002 – Djiboutian Minister teaches West women’s liberation
» 22.01.2002 – Alternatives to FGM in Guinea-Bissau
» 29.10.2001 – Senegal determined to eliminate female genital mutilation
» 26.06.2001 – Tanzania fails to enforce law against female mutilation
» 26.05.2001 – Djibouti to fight female genital mutilation
» 18.03.2001 – Call for worldwide ban of FGM
» 10.03.2001 – Women campaigns against genital mutilation successful
» 17.12.2000 – Kenyan court prevents father from mutilating daughters
» 11.12.2000 – Missionaries successful in curbing female mutilation in Kenya
» 08.12.2000 – One woman’s crusade against female mutilation on Internet
» 30.11.2000 – Europe impotent in fighting female mutilation among African women
» 29.11.2000 – African emigrants fight to curb female mutilation in Europe

Background / Analyses
» Fighting Female Genital Mutilation in Africa
» Data: Prevalence of FGM in Africa
In Internet
Rising Daughters Aware

Map
The following map outlines the approximate prevalence of FGM in Africa. For more detailed data, see table below.

Important note on data:
There are no exact data on the prevalence of FGM in Africa. The map is based on data selected from various sources, destined not to have used the same methology collecting them. Most available data were on a country basis, though often named peoples were singled out as practising FGM. These data were thus projected on the approximate areas these people inhabit. Note that the map’s scale is very coarse, the presentation not giving room for the very many local variations in prevalence.

As a very coarse and general illustration, the map however has some analythic value. For example, as clearly will be seen, although FGM is most common in Muslim countries, FGM prevalence in no way follows the prevalence of Islam. Rather, FGM prevalence seems to follow regional cultures independent on religion.

Basic country FGM facts

Select country:

FGM Prevalence:

Legal status:

Religion:

Population:

GDP/capita:

FGM by type
The World Health Organization classifies FGM into four types:

•Type I. Excision of the prepuce, with or without excision of part or all of the clitoris.

•Type II. Excision of the clitoris with partial or total excision of the labia minora.

•Type Ill. Excision of part or all of the external genitalia and stitching/narrowing of the vaginal opening (infibulation).

•Type IV. Unclassified: this includes pricking, piercing or incising of the clitoris and/or labia; stretching of the clitoris and/or labia cauterization by burning of the clitoris and surrounding tissue.

FGM practices by country and type
Country Prevalence Type
Benin 5-50% excision
Burkina Faso up to 70% excision
Cameroon local clitoridectomy and excision
Central Afr. Republic 45-50% clitoridectomy and excision
Chad 60% excision and infibulation
Comoros very local excision
Côte d’Ivoire up to 60% excision
DRC (Congo) local excision
Djibouti 98% excision and infibulation
Egypt 85-95% clitoridectomy, excision and infibulation
Eritrea 95% clitoridectomy, excision and infibulation
Ethiopia 70-90% clitoridectomy, excision and infibulation
Gambia 60-90% excision and infibulation
Ghana 15-30% excision
Guinea 65-90% clitoridectomy, excision and infibulation
Guinea Bissau local clitoridectomy and excision
Kenya 50% clitoridectomy, excision and some infibulation
Liberia 50% excision
Mali 94% clitoridectomy, excision and infibulation
Mauritania 25% clitoridectomy and excision
Niger local excision
Nigeria 60-90% clitoridectomy, excision, some infibulation
Senegal 20% excision
Sierra Leone 90% excision
Somalia 98% infibulation
Sudan 90% infibulation and excision
Tanzania 18% excision, infibulation
Togo 12% excision
Uganda local clitoridectomy and excision

Based on statistics from Amnesty International and US govt.

Sources: Based on UN agencies, Amnesty, US govt. and afrol archives

Categories: News Tags: , , ,

NIGER: Almost 200,000 displaced by floods

August 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Further heavy rains in Niger have caused the number of people displaced by flooding to soar from 111,000 last week to 198,740 this week, says the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which is calling on donors and aid agencies to urgently send shelter materials, blankets and mosquito nets.

“Response in rural areas has been slow thus far,” the head of OCHA in Niger, Modibo Traoré, told IRIN. Flood-displaced families in remote the Diffa region in the southeast, and Agadez in the north, have received no assistance to date.

In Agadez some 80,000 animals, already weakened by the ongoing nutrition and food security crisis, have died in the floods. “We must find a way to quickly burn or bury their bodies to ensure water sources are not contaminated,” Traoré told IRIN.

The government is sending 400 tons of food to people displaced by floodwater, and has released $200,000 in emergency funding to purchase more.

The flooding has aggravated a countrywide food security crisis in which nearly half of Niger’s 15.2 million people are experiencing hunger after the harvests failed, according to the government.

Traoré warned that the flooding could worsen. “The rainy season is still continuing, so victim numbers may rise even further.”