Archive for April 1, 2013

AROUND AFRICA: Nigeria, Mali, Kenya

Troops Kill 14 Suspected Rebels

Nigeria(CIA World Factbook map)

(CIA World Factbook map)

Nigeria says its troops have killed 14 suspected members of the Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram, during a raid in the northern city of Kano, the BBC reported Sunday (March 31).

At least on soldier was also killed in the assault in a building suspected of being a staging area for attacks on Christians over Easter in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north, where Boko Haram has been fighting to create an Islamic state.

Boko Haram has killed an estimated 3,000 people in attacks on churches, schools and government officies since 2009, according to the Voice of America. The group, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” in Nigeria’s Hausa language, has also attacked police, markets and newspapers offices. The group claimed credit for the kidnapping of a French family of tourists in neighboring Cameroon last month.

But human rights groups have accused Nigerian security forces of being trigger happy and killing hundreds of people during their operations against Boko Haram.

Insurgents Attack Timbuktu Again

French armored column leaves airport to support Malian troops in Timbuktu.(Copyright: French Defense Ministry)

French armored column leaves airport to support Malian troops in Timbuktu.
(Copyright: French Defense Ministry)

Two months after French and Malian troops drove Islamist insurgents out of the ancient city of Timbuktu, the rebel fighters were back, attacking inside the city.

Officials said about five insurgents were killed in the attack which started as a suicide car bombing Saturday (March 30) at a security checkpoint, the New York Times reported.

A Malian soldier was also killed, the Voice of America reported.  It is not known how many insurgents are still inside Timbuktu, which was occupied by the insurgents for severasl months after a military coup in southern Mali emboldened Tuareg separatists and Islamic terrorist groups to sweep down from the north and seize an area the size of Texas.

French aircraft and ground troops intervened in January — at the request of Mali’s president — to halt an insurgent advance threatening the capital, Bamako. Recently officials in Paris, who had wanted a quick-in-and-out operation, said at least 1,000 French troops were likely to be in Mali until year’s end. But that force would be about 3,000 less than the current French deployment of 4,000 troops.

Kenyan Election Certified

Kenya(CIA World Factbook)

(CIA World Factbook)

Kenya’s Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that the recent presidential election was won (barely) by Uhuru Kenyatta fair and square, the Voice of America reported. Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s founding father Jomo Kenyatta, won with just 50.7 percent of the vote. His closest rival, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, challenged the polling in court.

Violence after the election has been limited compared to the disorder after a close election in 2007 — which Odinga also lost.  More than 1,000 people were killed in clashes between rival political groups and security forces.

Complicating matters, however: Both Kenyatta and his running mate, William Ruto, face trial at the International Criminal Court for their alleged roles orchestrating violence during that period.

April 1, 2013 at 12:47 am Leave a comment


April 2013


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