Daily Archives: March 3, 2019

Body of Infant Recovered After Deadly Somalia Attack

Somali authorities say the body of a seven month-old boy has been recovered the rubble three days after an al-Shabab attack killed at least 25 people in Mogadishu last Thursday.

The boy identified as Munasar Mohamed, was with his mother who worked at a beauty salon on Maka al-Mukarama road when the militants detonated a powerful car bomb as part of a complex attack involving suicide bombers

The blast brought down multi-story buildings and destroyed structures alongside the busy road.

The owner of the beauty salon, who didn’t want to be named for fear of her safety, said there were 16 people in her salon when the explosion went off just after 8pm on Thursday.

She said they helped the injured before security forces arrived to evacuate them. The boy was the only person in the group who didn’t make out of the building.

After finial searches the boy couldn’t be located. His body was finally discovered on Sunday after rescuers viewed CCTV footage showing the boy’s last movements and location in the building.

The owner said the boy has been in the salon with his mother since he was born. His mom was working at my beauty salon since he was born, she said.

The beauty salon owner said she knows more than 10 people from nearby shops who died in the explosion.

Mogadishu’s ambulances services which evacuated the dead and wounded recorded 25 deaths and 131 people injured. Of the injured, 21 are females.

During the attack al-Shabab constantly claimed that their fighters targeted one of the biggest hotels known as Maka Al-Mukarama but it became clearer that the militants entered a two-story building next to the hotel. Whether that was intentional or the militant missed their target is not clear.

In a statement on Sunday, al-Shabab claimed they killed 45 government officials in the hotel. Al-Shabab also falsely claimed that no civilians were killed.

Security sources say all but two of the victims were civilians. The two were security personnel deployed to participate in the operation to end the militants’ siege.

Information Minister Dahir Mohamud Gelle said al-Shabab has no regard for the safety of any human being regardless of age and field of work.

You are not safe from al-Shabab if you are young, elderly, civilian or soldier, he said. Whether you are walking in the street or in your home, you are not safe from al-Shabab. They have no regard for you whether you are fighting against them or not.

Al-Shabab has conducted similar deadly attacks in the capital for years now, but successive governments have not yet succeeded in finding a strategy to stop the militant group.

Source: Voice of America

AU Special Representative condemns terrorist attack in Mogadishu

Mogadishu, The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, strongly condemns the terrorist attack in the Somali capital yesterday.

On Thursday night, vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) targeting a hotel killed and injured innocent civilians in one of the city’s busy streets. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack on Hotel Makkah Al-Mukarammah and other nearby businesses by Al-Shabaab is yet another proof that the militants have no respect for human rights or regard for the sanctity of human life. Their selfish aim is to scuttle the progress so far achieved by the federal and state governments and their development partners in stabilizing Somalia, said Ambassador Francisco Madeira.

The AU Special Representative expresses solidarity with the federal government of Somalia and sends his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. He prays for the quick recovery of those who sustained injuries.

Source: African Union Mission in Somalia

Nigeria Court Says Extradition of Cameroon Separatists ‘Illegal’

LAGOS, NIGERIA � A Nigerian court has condemned as “illegal and unconstitutional” the arrest and deportation of Cameroonian separatists who had applied for asylum in Nigeria, their lawyers said Sunday.

In January 2018, Nigeria arrested and sent back 47 anglophone separatists who had fled Cameroon following a crackdown by the authorities.

The move was denounced by UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency, which said most of them had filed asylum claims. It accused Nigeria of breaching international agreements.

“Justice Chikere declared the arrest and detention of the 12 applicants illegal,” said a statement from Nigerian law firm Falana & Falana, referring to a ruling issued last week in the capital Abuja.

“Consequently, Justice Chikere declared the deportation of the applicants illegal and unconstitutional, awarded (compensation) to each of them and ordered the federal government to ensure that they are brought back to Nigeria forthwith.”

Among the 12 Cameroonian claimants in this case was separatist leader Julius Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, president of the self-declared “Republic of Ambazonia”. He and his supporters were among those arrested by Nigerian intelligence agents on January 9, 2018.

Nigerian officials sent the group back to Cameroon a few weeks later on January 26.

For months, the 47 have been held in isolation at a high-security facility at police headquarters in Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital.

In December, a military court in Yaounde opened a trial against Ayuk Tabe and nine others for “terrorism” and “secession”.

Just before the start of that trial, Ayuk Tabe was transferred to a lower security prison in the capital where he can receive visits.

The next hearing is scheduled for March 7. Defense lawyers have already argued before the court that the defendants should be returned to Nigeria.

During last week’s hearing in Abuja, defense lawyer Femi Fakana had argued that the arrest and detention of refugees and asylum seekers constituted a breach of Nigeria’s constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The judge agreed, saying the expulsion of the group was in “utter violation” of legal obligations which ban Nigeria “from expelling or deporting refugees” from the country.

He ordered the government to ensure they were brought back to Nigeria, and that their fundamental rights were respected.

Mark Bareta, one of the leading advocates of the anglophone separatist cause, welcomed the Nigerian court ruling.

English-speaking Cameroonians “are happy that at least in Nigeria there is an independent judiciary,” he wrote on his Facebook page, which has more than 100,000 followers.

They were hoping that the Nigerian government would respect this legal ruling, he added.

Clashes between the armed forces and separatists take place almost daily in the two Anglophone regions on the western flank of Cameroon.

Resentment there at perceived marginalization by the French-speaking majority boiled over into an armed uprising in late 2016, prompting a harsh government crackdown.

Source: Voice of America

Minister Zweli Mkhize convenes consultative meeting between political and traditional leaders, 4 Mar

Minister Mkhize to convene a consultative meeting between political and traditional leaders

The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Dr Zweli Mkhize will on Monday, 04 March 2019 convene a consultative meeting between the political leadership from various Ministries and leaders of the National House of Traditional Leaders and other key representatives from the traditional leadership sector.

The meeting will look at legislation impacting on and affecting traditional leaders such as the following;

Update on the Traditional Courts Bill.

Update on SPLUMA and the Communal Land Tenure Bill.

Powers and roles of traditional leaders.

Tools of trade for traditional leaders.

Updates on the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Bill and the Customary Initiation Bills.

Report on the Integrated Urban Development Framework.

Property rates Act.

Source: Government of South Africa

Parliament condemns murder of actor Sibusiso Khwinana

Arts and Culture Committee condemns murder of Sibusiso Khwinana

The Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture condemns what it calls the senseless murder of rising star actor, Mr Sibusiso Khwinana.

The Chairperson of the committee Ms Xoliswa Tom said that Mr Khwinana’s passing comes as a blow, not only to his family but to the entire arts industry. “Mr Khwinana’s death, especially at such a young age and circumstances under which he was murdered is a deprival of dreams, songs that will never be sung and performances that will never be enjoyed and showcased” said Ms Tom.

The committee called on the South African Police Services (SAPS) to speedily take action in bringing to book those involved in the heinous murder of Mr Khiwinana. The 25-year old was stabbed during an alleged robbery incident on Friday, 01 March 2019 in Pretoria.

The committee extends its heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr Khwinana.

Source: Government of South Africa