• Indian all-woman UN peacekeepers to depart Liberia in February

    28/Jan/2016 // 237 Viewers

    JANUARY 28, 2016: (DGW) The Indian contingent of  all-woman UN peacekeepers deployed to the war-torn West African nation of Liberia has prepared to depart the country next month, DailyGlobeWatch can authoritatively reveal.

    The Indian contingent, sources told our reporter in Monrovia,  has been in the country on a tour of duty for the past nine years and in fact the first ever all-woman police unit in  UN peace-keeping history.

    In a valedictory ceremony held on Tuesday, President Ellen Johnson thanked the Indian women peacekeepers for their invaluable contribution in inspiring Liberian women since their arrival in the country since 2007.

    Her words:''The contribution you have made in inspiring Liberian women, imparting in them the spirit of professionalism and encouraging them to join operations that protect the nation; for that we will always be grateful. Our security service now has 17 per cent women – we owe all that to you because it was not even one percent a few years ago. And these women want to emulate you in the way you’ve served this country.

    Also speaking at the ceremony organized to honour the departing contingent, Banki Moon UN Secretary General represented by Farid Zarif commended the all-woman police unit for the legacy of dedicated service it gave the Liberia National Police and indeed the Liberian people.

    Said Zarif, “You should be proud that by your presence, you have made a tremendous contribution to bringing greater stability, confidence and assisting in the strengthening of the capacities of the Liberia National Police.

    Continuing the Liberian President Ellen Johnson said, “If I had my will, I would have recommended for another unit of the United Nations Mission in Liberia to leave so that the Indian Formed Police Unit would continue its stay in the country for the time being.

     

     
     


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  • Kenya arrests two Iranians suspected of planning attacks: ministry

    28/Nov/2015 // 307 Viewers

    NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan security forces have arrested two Iranian men on suspicion of planning attacks in Nairobi, the Interior Ministry and Kenyan media reported on Saturday.

    The two men had planned to attack hotels in the Kenyan capital used by tourists, business executives and diplomats, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said, according to a report carried by the website of Kenya's Daily Nation.

    Kenya has suffered from a series of attacks by Somali Islamist group al Shabaab, a Sunni Muslim group that has said its assaults are aimed at driving Kenyan troops and other members of an African Union force out of Somalia.

    There was no indication of any link to the latest arrests in the ministry statements. At least one of the Iranians was identified as a Shi'ite Muslim, the predominant sect in Iran.

    "Two Iranians arrested by KE (Kenyan) security agencies with a plan to mount a terror attack in NBI (Nairobi). The plan was foiled and suspects arrested," the ministry wrote on Twitter.

    An Interior Ministry official confirmed the report.

    The ministry identified the two men as Abubakar Sadiq Louw, 69, describing him as a "senior figure" in the Nairobi Shi'ite community. It named the other as 25-year-old Yassin Sambai Juma, saying he was also from Nairobi and describing him as a "recruit".

    The two men "have admitted to conspiring to mount terror attacks" in Kenya, the ministry added on Twitter.

    Boinnet said Louw admitted to recruiting young Kenyans to spy and mount attacks, Daily Nation reported.

    In 2013, two Iranian men were sentenced to life in prison by a Kenyan court for planning to carry out bombings in the country.

    In 2014, a court ordered an Iranian man and woman held under anti-terrorism laws to serve two years in jail or pay a fine after admitting to using fake Israeli passports to enter Kenya. They had been detained on suspicion of planning an attack, but officials did not say if those suspicions were laid to rest.

     

    Source: Reuters


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  • Breaking News: Early election results hand victory to Ivory Coast incumbent Ouattara

    28/Oct/2015 // 349 Viewers

    © AFP | Incumbent Ivory Coast president Alassane Ouattara pictured in Abidjan on October 25, 2015.
     
    Ivory Coast’s incumbent president, Alassane Ouattara, has a commanding lead in last weekend’s election, early results released on Tuesday showed.
     
    Ouattara, the clear favourite to win a second five-year term, won between 85.07 and 99.26 percent of votes in results for the first six of 31 regions, announced by the electoral commission on state television.
     
    Peaceful, transparent elections could help the West African country to turn the page on a 2011 civil war and a decade-long political crisis.
     
    Since Ouattara took power in 2011, the world’s top cocoa grower has become a regional economic powerhouse, luring in investors where other African economies have struggled under a global slump in commodities prices.
     
    Several opposition candidates had alleged fraud in the run-up to Sunday’s vote, but observers have given the election a clean bill of health.


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  • 'Mass killings and cannibalism' in South Sudan, says African Union

    28/Oct/2015 // 205 Viewers

    © Pawel Krzysiek, AFP | A hand-out photo released by the International Committee of the Red Cross shows a boy standing in front of a burnt house on May 23, 2015

    African Union investigators discovered mass graves in South Sudan and found evidence of horrific crimes, including forced cannibalism, according to a long-awaited report.

    President Salva Kiir's faction in the conflict is also accused of recruiting an irregular tribal force before the outbreak of war in December 2013.

    The report, released late Tuesday, also disputes that there was a coup attempt in December 2013 by former Vice President Riek Machar. Government troops carried out organized killings of members of the ethnic Nuer in Juba, the capital, the report said. When violence broke out, Machar, a Nuer, became a rebel leader. He and Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, recently signed a peace agreement.

    The African Union investigators, led by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, found that the conflict began on Dec. 15, 2013, as a skirmish broke out between Dinka and Nuer soldiers of the presidential guard following political tension between Kiir and Machar, who had been fired as Kiir's deputy the previous July.

    The report was scheduled for release months ago but its release was delayed by the African Union's Peace and Security Council.

    Hundreds of Nuer men were rounded up and shot, and mass graves were discovered. Perpetrators - described as government forces or their allies - allegedly tortured their victims, including by forcing them to jump in fires or eat human flesh, according to the report.

    The killings were "an organized military operation that could not have been successful without concerted efforts from various actors in the military and government circles," the report said. "Roadblocks or checkpoints were established all around Juba and house to house searches were undertaken by security forces. During this operation male Nuers were targeted, identified, killed on the spot or gathered in one place and killed."

    The report said Minister of Defense Kuol Manyang Juuk described a shadowy "group (that had) organized itself as Rescue the President. It killed most people here (in Juba) - from 15th to 18th. It was even more powerful than organized forces."

    The group comprised some Dinka soldiers who had been mobilized following a 2012 border crisis with northern neighbor Sudan. Some of these soldiers were moved south to Kiir's private farm near Juba in 2013 and later participated in the killings, the report said, citing interviews with informants.

    Amid the Juba killings, Machar fled the capital and mobilized an insurgency which committed revenge attacks against the Dinka, sparking a cycle of violence in Bor, Malakal, and Bentiu towns which also included rape and murder of people in churches and hospitals, according to the report. Those revenge attacks occurred so quickly they were also likely coordinated, it added.

    Kiir and Machar signed a peace agreement in August but fighting continues.

    (AP)


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  • Tens of thousands protest against Congo president’s bid to extend rule

    28/Sep/2015 // 278 Viewers

    Laudes Martial Mbon, AFP | A man holds a placard reading 'Congo is not the property of N'Guesso' during an opposition demonstration in Brazzaville on September 27, 2015

    Tens of thousands gathered in Republic of Congo’s capital on Sunday to voice their opposition to possible constitutional changes that would allow President Denis Sassou Nguesso to extend his decades-long rule in elections next year.

    Protesters, some carrying signs reading “Sassou Out” and “Congo does not belong to Nguesso”, began flooding into the streets of Brazzaville in the morning, hours ahead of the afternoon rally in the city centre.

    Sassou Nguesso, 71, who has ruled oil-producing Congo for 32 years in two separate spells in office, is banned by the current constitution from seeking another term.

    However, he announced last week he would call a referendum on changes that could include raising the maximum age for presidential candidates and scrapping the two-term limit.

    “The day President Sassou announces the date of the referendum, we will call upon you and we, ourselves, will be in front of you,” Andre Okombi Salissa, a former ally of the president who has come out against the proposed changes, told the crowd.

    Organisers claimed that over 300,000 people attended the rally on Boulevard Alfred Raoul. There were no immediate police estimates of the crowd’s size.

    Leaders in a number of African nations have been trying to change constitutions to override term limits.

    Burkina Faso’s longtime ruler Blaise Compaore was forced to step down and flee the country last year when he attempted to force through constitutional changes.

    “If the people want to march in the streets, they are right to do so, because marches are their last means of expression when the rights, their demands are not satisfied,” said Felix Matoko, who attended Sunday’s rally.

    (REUTERS)


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  • HRW urges Tunisia to free man jailed for homosexuality

    28/Sep/2015 // 229 Viewers

    AFP/File | A Tunisian police car in Sousse, where a youth was detained and later jailed for homosexuality
    TUNIS (AFP) - 
    Human Rights Watch called on the Tunisian authorities on Monday to free a 22-year-old student jailed last week for homosexuality and to repeal the law that criminalises consensual sodomy.

    "The Tunisian government should not be prosecuting people for private and consensual sexual acts," said HRW's deputy Middle East and North Africa director Eric Goldstein.

    "If Tunisia truly aspires to be a regional leader on human rights, it should lead the way in decriminalising homosexual conduct."

    The youth had been detained on September 6 in the Mediterranean resort area of Sousse for questioning in connection with a murder after his telephone number was found on the victim, lawyer Fadoua Braham said.

    He denied any involvement in the murder but admitted to having had sexual relations with the victim.

    "Another statement was drawn up and my client had to undergo an anal exam against his will," she said.

    HRW condemned the use of forensic anal examinations of people suspected of homosexual acts and called on Tunisia to halt them immediately.

    "Such examinations are intrusive, invasive, and amount to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment that violates international law," it said.

    ? 2015 AFP


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  • Curfew declared in CAR capital Bangui after two days of deadly clashes

    28/Sep/2015 // 293 Viewers

    Edouard Dropsy, AFP | A wounded man is carried into the General Hospital in Bangui on September 26, 2015.

    Officials in the Central African Republic (CAR) declared a curfew in the capital, Bangui, on Sunday after two days of sectarian clashes that left at least 36 people dead and scores more injured.

    Armed Christian militia members roamed the streets and protesters erected barricades on Sunday, a day after deadly inter-religious clashes erupted in CAR's restive capital, witnesses said.

    The fighting was reportedly triggered by the murder of a Muslim man, whose body was dumped near a mosque late on Friday.

    The clashes were the worst this year in the city, where UN peacekeepers and French troops are meant to ensure security. The government blamed them on individuals seeking to derail elections planned for next month.

    Soldiers from the UN peacekeeping mission, MINUSCA, fired tear gas at crowds on Sunday as youths used tree trunks to block Bangui's main arteries.

    Witnesses reported hearing sporadic gunfire in parts of the city and saw homes and shops being looted.

    "Enough is enough. We want (President Catherine) Samba-Panza to go. Since she's been there the Muslims kill with impunity. She's doing nothing to disarm them," said one protester who declined to give his name.

    Elections loom

    Thousands of Central Africans have died and hundreds of thousands remain displaced after two years of violence that erupted after mainly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in the majority Christian country in 2013.

    Seleka abuses sparked reprisals by Christian "anti-balaka" militias that drove most Muslims from the south in a de facto partition of the country.

    Protesters alleged UN and French forces did little to intervene in Saturday's violence and called for the sidelined Central African army, the FACA, to assume responsibility for security.

    "We are calling for a civil disobedience movement starting now and we demand the immediate redeployment, without conditions, of the FACA," civil society leader Gervais Lakossa told Reuters.

    Anti-balaka fighters armed with assault rifles and machetes were seen on Bangui's streets on Sunday as many city residents fled their homes for protected displacement camps.

    "The government asks the population not to cede to the manipulation of extremists who are seeking to set the country on fire to satisfy their selfish political ambitions," Security Minister Dominique Said Paguindji said on state radio.

    Voters are due to elect a new president and parliament on Oct. 18 to replace an interim government led by Samba-Panza. Despite lagging preparations and the renewed violence in the capital, Paguindji said the polls would go ahead as scheduled.

    Daily Globe Watch with Reuters


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  • Deadly car bomb targets Somalia’s presidential palace

    28/Sep/2015 // 272 Viewers

     Roberto Schmidt, AFP | In a photograph taken on May 27, 2009, armed men stand between two gates at Somalia’s presidential compound, also known as 'Villa Somalia' in Mogadishu
    Text by NEWS WIRES
    Latest update : 2015-09-21
    At least five people were killed when a car bomb exploded close to the presidential palace in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Monday, police said.

    There was no immediate claim of responsibility from the Islamist militant group al Shabaab, which is trying to overthrow President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s Western-backed government.

    The group stepped up attacks this month, retaking a town in the central region and attacking African Union troops.

    “So far, we know five soldiers died and over a dozen were wounded,” Ali Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters, adding that the attack might have been aimed at a United Nations convoy that left the palace just before the blast.

    Ahmed Aden, a resident in the area, said he had heard a loud blast followed by gunfire.

    A Reuters reporter saw damage to the gate of the compound, and five burnt-out cars at the scene.

    (REUTERS)


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  • All night fighting in Central African capital despite curfew

    28/Sep/2015 // 237 Viewers

    Edouard Dropsy, AFP | Police in the Central African Republic capital of Bangui. 

    Gunfire rang out in the capital of Central African Republic overnight despite a curfew imposed following weekend violence that claimed at least 20 lives, residents said Monday.

    The gunfire was focused at a police station in Bangui, they said.

    “The curfew had no effect. Fighting went on all night,” FRANCE 24's Anthony Fouchard reported from Bangui.

    Several shops and homes were also looted during the dusk-to-dawn curfew.

    “The ransacking continued this morning. Several NGO personnel have been evacuated,” Fouchard told FRANCE 24 on Monday.

    In addition to the more than 20 dead, around 100 people were wounded in Saturday's violence sparked by the murder of a motorcycle-taxi driver in central Bangui's Muslim-majority PK-5 neighbourhood, medical sources told AFP.

    The area was the epicentre of unprecedented killings between Christians and Muslims in the city in late 2013 and early 2014.

    French soldiers and UN peacekeepers remain in the former French colony where thousands of people died in the violence and hundreds of thousands remain displaced from their homes.

    The chronically unstable country descended into bloodshed after a 2013 coup ousted longtime leader François Bozizé, and it remains prey to violence between Muslim Seleka rebels and Christian militias known as the "anti-balaka", or anti-machete.

    Although unrest has abated considerably, armed groups still operate in some parts of the country.

    Presidential and legislative elections are due to be held by the end of the year, but they have already been pushed back several times as the country continues to grapple with the crisis.

    (Daily Globe Watch with  AFP)


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  • Cameroon delays quizzing of bomber claiming to be Chibok schoolgirl as doubts mount

    29/Mar/2016 // 292 Viewers

     

    By Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

    ABUJA, Nigeria, March 28 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Cameroon officials delayed on Monday the questioning of a female suicide bomber claiming to be one of the schoolgirls abducted from Chibok in northeast Nigeria two years ago by Islamic militants due to injuries as doubts mounted over her identity.

    The girl claiming to be one of the 219 missing schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram and another woman were arrested on Friday carrying explosives in Limani in northern Cameroon that has been the target of frequent suicide bombings recently.

    The arrest raised hopes that the girl might be able to assist the Nigerian government in investigations regarding the fate and whereabouts of the missing Chibok girls.

    Nigerian officials said they were sending parents from Chibok to verify whether the girl was one of the secondary school girls whose abduction sparked world outrage and the massive campaign #bringbackourgirls.

    Garba Shehu, spokesperson for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, said they had hoped the girl could be questioned on Monday and meet Chibok parents to confirm her identity but it was looking less likely that she was one of the missing girls.

    He said she now needed medical treatment before being questioned with the cause of her injuries unknown. Cameroon officials have instead sent photos to local non-government organisation, the Murtala Muhammed Foundation, to pass to the Chibok parents.

    "She was found to be heavily drugged and bore several injuries on her body, for which she is receiving treatment," Shehu told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an email statement.

    But he said as investigations went on it was seeming less likely the girl was one of the missing girls. He said she appeared to be aged between nine and 12 and her accomplice aged about 30 years or older.

    "All these go to reinforce suspicion that the arrested girls may not fit into the profile of secondary students who are usually of the age 15 and above," Shehu said.

    Shehu said Nigeria's Ministry of Women Affairs, the Nigerian High Commission in Cameroon and all government agencies were continuing "to work together with other stakeholders in trying to get to get to the bottom of the issue".

    The Murtala Muhammed Foundation in Nigeria, a non-government organisation which has been supporting the Chibok parents association, was working with the Nigerian government to organise a trip to Cameroon by parents to meet the girl.

    Former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan was criticized for his slow reaction to the Chibok abductions by Boko Haram, which at its strongest held large swathes of northern Nigeria.

    Joint operations between Nigeria and neighbouring countries succeeded in driving Boko Haram from many of its strongholds last year but the Islamists have stepped up cross-border attacks and suicide bombings, many of them carried out by young girls.

    Muhammadu Buhari, who defeated Jonathan in a 2015 election, ordered a new investigation into the kidnappings in January.


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