AFP/File | Nigeria is the country worst affected, with nearly 1.2 million children uprooted by the Islamist insurgency
AFP/File | Nigeria is the country worst affected, with nearly 1.2 million children uprooted by the Islamist insurgency
The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Lagos State has blasted the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for scoring Governor Akinwunmi Ambode low, describing the assessment as laughable.
Speaking through its Publicity Secretary in the state, Joe Igbokwe, APC said PDP could not recognize achievement when it saw one and wondered how a party that wrecked Nigeria in 16 years of disastrous leadership could assess performance of a party that had taken Lagos to new heights as one of the few mega cities of the world.
APC said Lagos PDP lacked sense of reasoning on what performance was.
It stated: “We see the laughable outings of Lagos PDP in the media after its last disastrous electoral woes as tortuous efforts to stave off its certain death.
“We see their laughable efforts to critique the government in Lagos as borne out of the near-death struggle to survive its own huge liabilities as a failed party that ran a failed government that prodded Nigeria to the precincts of a failed nation.
“We wonder what else could make a party that failed woefully in 16 years and which suffered a disastrous electoral defeat as a consequence, to be so obsessed with performance in the first one hundred days than trying to stay afloat when it is being washed away by the tides of history.”
“However, we want to educate Lagos PDP on performance in office, should they continue to deliberately believe that Nigerians are fooled by their antics.
The Chairman of the African Union (AU), Mr. Idriss Deby, on Monday expressed full support for the decisions adopted by the ECOWAS Heads of State on the political situation in The Gambia.
In a statement issued in Addis Ababa, Deby commended the ECOWAS Heads of State for their “principled stand with regards to the situation in The Gambia.
He said the AU was in full support of the decisions reached at the meeting held in Abuja on December 16, including “the consideration to use all necessary means to ensure the respect of the will of the people of The Gambia.’’
“The Chairman of AU reaffirms its readiness to pursue and intensify coordination efforts with ECOWAS and the United Nations,” the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the statement as saying on Monday.
“This is in order to facilitate the speedy and orderly transfer of power to the President-elect, including its full support to President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as ECOWAS Mediator in The Gambia.’’
Deby, who is the President of Chad, repeated his call on The Gambia’s outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to facilitate the smooth transfer of power to the newly elected president, Adama Barrow, as decided by The Gambians.
He also called on members of the security forces in The Gambia to strictly abide by the country’s Constitution and the rule of law.
CHRISTIANITY is growing faster in Africa than anywhere else in the world, says Reverend Fr (Dr) Lawrence Iwuamadi, Professor of Ecumenical Biblical Hermeneutics, at the Ecumenical Institute, Bossey.
According to a report published on the WCC website, in which he was the convener of a discussion on the Anthology of African Christianity, held by the World Council of Churches (WCC) with a panel of experts at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Iwuamadi said: “It is said that in the next four years, a quarter of the world’s Christians will be living in Africa, and that is why the anthology is so timely, as well as the 1,400-page book being an invaluable historical and analytical resource.”
Its 160 essays address, with 30 regional and denominational surveys, along with 50 national surveys, the contemporary social and political issues facing Christians on the continent.
“Education was the most important factor in the spread of Christianity in Africa,” Iwuamadi added.
The book also looks at the role of women in the church in Africa where they form the backbone of Christianity.
Anthology of African Christianity is edited by Isabel Apawo Phiri and Dietrich Werner, Chammah Kaunda and Kennedy Owino and is published by Regnum Studies in Global Christianity, 2016.
Phiri is the World Council of Churches deputy general secretary for Public Witness and Diakonia. Werner, a former WCC staff member is Senior Theological Advisor for Bread for the World.
“This is a tool for informed ecumenism,” said Werner. “Ecumenism will have a future only if it is informed ecumenism. We have so many common declarations but have so little of accurate knowledge on contemporary Christianity.”
Bringing together regions
“We wanted to bring together regional survey articles on contemporary (21st century) African Christianity and churches in Northern Africa, Western Africa, Eastern Africa and Southern Africa,” said Phiri.
In an answer to a question, Phiri said: “The theology of African Christianity is influenced by its social context. What are the signs of our times in Africa that we should be responding to?”
She noted that human sexuality is a big issue “dividing churches” across denominations and between partners from the global south and the global north, and within the families.
“The aim of the book is to look at how Africans look at their own faith. It is deeply root. It is not artificial Christianity. It is Christianity that makes me who I am in every aspect of my life. Christianity is an African religion. People look at Christianity as defining who they are,” said Phiri, a Malawian, who was a university professor in South Africa.
Werner observed: “There are several tasks after the production of this books. We need to create a network of research institutions, and of networks doing business ethics. We also have to invent an African scholarship fund.”
‘Needed for governments and the United Nations’
The knowledge about Christianity is needed for governments, and the United Nations is “crying out” to work with faith-based organisations (FBOs), said Werner.
“We need good knowledge” to aid many endeavours including intercontinental dialogue.
In an answer to a question he said: “There is no network of African Christian entrepreneurs, as far as I know, and we have not seen developed African Christian business ethics, although in Nigeria and Ghana, there are some beginnings of associations of Christian businesses.”
A Professor of Ecumenical Missiology at the Ecumenical Institute, Bossey, Reverend (Dr) Benjamin Simon, described the anthology as a wonderful “bouquet of flowers”.
He spoke about the chapter on African Christianity and Ecumenism.
“With its 20 articles from famous theologians from African backgrounds, this chapter could have been a book of its own and still been a bouquet of flowers as it contains a variety of positions and opinions as well as perspectives and viewpoints,” said Simon.
Role of Christian councils
“Agnes Abuom, the president of WCC, concluded in her outstanding contribution that, ‘Christian Councils have a place and role in African Christianity…enabling internalisation of Christianity as an African faith’.”
“We have many churches of the African diaspora all over the world,” said Simon citing America and Europe. Many of their members were born in a foreign country and then transformed through the generations of their members, providing an area where research needs to be done. (NIGERIAN TRIBUNE)
The terrorist attack that struck the capital of Burkina Faso last week was claimed by al Qaeda’s north African branch. Experts worry it was a show of force in response to the rise of the Islamic State (IS) group on the African continent.
If global jihad were a race, it would be hard to deny that the IS group is leading the pack of murderous extremists.
The IS group has taken control of large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, orchestrated brazen attacks and video executions and, in the process, grabbed the attention of global media.
In a relatively short amount of time, the IS group – sometimes referred to as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh – has also exported its brand by rallying other prominent terrorist groups, like Boko Haram in Nigeria, to its cause.
However, the IS group now looks set for some stiff competition. The most recent merger between radical Islamist groups in Africa does not include the group, and in fact represents a strategic setback for the group’s so-called caliphate.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in December announced that, after several years of fraught relations, it had reunited with Algerian jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar and his Al-Mourabitoune group.
The January 15 siege on an upscale hotel in the Burkina Faso capital of Ouagadougou was quickly claimed by AQIM, but carried out by Al-Mourabitoune militants, as if to serve as proof that the two groups were really back together.
The attack, which lasted 12 hours and claimed the lives of 30 civilians from at least seven countries, also served to convey another message: AQIM will strike Western targets in Africa that lie beyond the Maghreb – the expansive region between Libya and Western Morocco that has largely defined its territory in the past.
The carnage in Ouagadougou is not the first bloody upshot of the new al Qaeda-Al-Mourabitoune union and its expansionist drive. The attack on the Radisson hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako in November 2015 was already a joint operation.
Wassim Nasr, FRANCE 24’s expert on jihadist movements, says Belmokhtar’s decision to rejoin AQIM is closely linked to his personal antipathy towards the IS group.
He was excluded from the al Qaeda branch in October 2012 for insubordination, setting up Al-Mourabitoune as a result of the split. But in May 2015 he was himself confronted with mutiny when one of his top deputies defected to the IS group.
The number of Al-Mourabitoune jihadists who defected with the dissident commander is unknown. Nevertheless, three months later, the Libyan branch of the Islamic State group issued a notice calling for Belmokhtar’s “elimination”.
Since its founding in 2007, AQIM has resisted carrying out attacks outside northern Africa, reportedly one of the disagreements that led Belmokhtar to temporarily leave the terrorist group. The attacks in Bamako and Ouagadougou would appear to indicate the question of expansion is no longer a matter of debate.
“The fact that al Qaeda claimed the operation in Ouagadougou proves that the organisation has accepted this expansion,” Nasr said. “This decision is of course part of a struggle for influence, namely with the IS group.”
With the battle lines between the two jihadists groups drawn in Africa, AQIM is now eager to show it is still a force to be reckoned with.
“AQIM wants to display its firepower in defiance of both Western forces and the surging Islamic State group”, said Nasr, adding that the two militant Salafist groups were engaged in a gruesome “one-upmanship”.
That is not to say the two groups have adopted the same mode of operation on the ground.
While the IS group aims to sustainably establish itself in a particular territory, such as in Libya or in Nigeria (with the help of Boko Haram), al Qaeda’s priority is carrying out anti-Western operations.
“AQIM’s enemy is the West, not local regimes,” Nasr pointed out. The attack on Ouagadougou’s upscale Hotel Splendid and the nearby eatery Le Cappuccino seems to be a case in point.
The two places were known to be very popular with foreigners, especially among French soldiers stationed in the region. The victims included six Canadians, three French, two Swiss and one US national.
PARIS, JULY 19, 2016: (DGW) African Union, (AU) has approved a regional force for South Sudan after fighting broke out between rival forces that has so far left hundreds of people dead.
Soldiers for this mission, DailyGlobeWatch reliably gathered, would be drawn from five African countries namely Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan and Uganda to join the 12,000-strong UN peacekeeping force already in the country.
The AU force, according to officials would have stronger mandate but
South Sudan's president, Salva Kiir has been reportedly reluctant to allow in foreign troops.
Clashes over several days between troops loyal to the two men had threatened a recent peace deal.
Flowers float in the Mediterranean Sea in honor of migrants lost while making the perilous journey to Europe.
A protester holds a loaded slingshot in Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou, on Thursday.
PARIS, APRIL 20, 2017: (DGW) The UN and the AU on Wednesday in New York, signed a new agreement to better respond to the changing dimensions and evolving challenges of peace operations on the African continent.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the Chairperson of AU, Moussa Mahamat, described the new agreement as a landmark framework to strengthen partnership between the two organisations on peace and security pillars.
Guterres, in his remarks to newsmen after the event, noted that the region was in crisis.
He, however, said that “Africa is a continent of hope and potential”.
“We no longer have the traditional peacekeeping operations, where peacekeepers separate two countries or two groups within the same country that have signed an agreement, and a makeshift peace essentially prevails.
“We are witnessing, in Africa, as around the world, changes that force us to have a strategic review of the way peace operations take place,” Guterres told newsmen, alongside Mahamat, after signing the framework .
According to him, the Joint UN-AU Framework for Enhancing Partnership on Peace and Security is expected to boost the coordination between the two organizations at all levels.
The UN chief added that the joint framework “is also anticipated to strengthen cooperation on issues ranging from human rights and good governance, to sustainable and inclusive development.
“The new understanding will also help align the African Union’s Agenda 2063 with the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to ensure that they are both a ‘success story’ in the continent.
Mahamat said the time has come for AU to critically assess the security challenges in the region and work with the UN to ensure peacekeeping operations on the continent are more effective.
The AU chief regretted the terrorist activities in Africa but expressed optimism that the continent has the potential to overcome the challenge.
He said a Hybrid Court would be established in South Sudan, alongside a national reconciliation conference and the deployment of the protection force, after resolving some operational issues.
“The decision of the United States administration to reduce its contributions to peacekeeping operations will affect the effectiveness of the operation.
“But AU is working to increase peacekeeping funds by African countries,” he said.
Guterres and Mahamat jointly led the first Joint UN-AU Annual Conference where they discussed the complementarity between the 2030 Agenda and the AU’s Agenda 2063, as well as the fight against terrorism and the financing of operations led by the AU.
They also discussed situations in several countries, including Libya, Mali, the Central African Republic, and Somalia, and discussed efforts to combat the activities of the Boko Haram terrorist group.