Africa Theater

DRC recruited ex-rebels to suppress protests: HRW

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) government recruited former M23 rebel fighters to protect President Joseph Kabila after protests broke out last December over his refusal to step down at the end of his constitutionally mandated two terms, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported Dec. 5. During December of last year, at least 62 people were killed and hundreds were arrested. The M23 fighters were granted authority to use lethal force. Many journalists were also detained to keep them from reporting about the events taking place. According to the report, rebel forces have long been recruited into the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC), without formal training or extensive vetting. The forces in question were deserters from the group, who were initially recruited from Rwanda and Uganda. The FARDC have themselves been criticized for various human rights violations.

Zimbabwe: new leader implicated in massacres

The swearing in of Zimbabwe's new President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is being hailed as opening a new era for the country that had been ruled by Robert Mugabe from independence in 1980 until his dramatic downfall this week. But Mnangagwa had long been Mugabe's right-hand man, and in his inaugural speech paid tribute to him as a "mentor" and Zimbabwe's "founding father." Mnangagwa is known by the nickname "Ngwena" (Crocodile)—apparently a reference to his days as a commando in the Crocodile Group, an elite Chinese-trained guerilla unit that carried out acts of sabotage in the struggle against colonial and white supremacist rule in the 1960s. (BBC News, CNN, VOA) But some are pointing to Mnangagwa's reputation for ruthlessness even after the country's liberation from white rule, and are demanding accountability over his role in ethnic massacres in the 1980s.

Ruling for Ghana in Ivory Coast boundary dispute

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ruled (PDF) Sept. 23 in favor of Ghana in a lengthy maritime dispute with Ivory Coast. The case, which was brought to the international body by Ghana in 2014, was an attempt to clarify the boundary between the two countries, as both countries were vying for oil in the contested area. The court unanimously ruled in favor of Ghana, dismissing the claim that Ghana violated the territorial rights of Ivory Coast when it expanded its oil exploration in the area. The ruling definitively creates a boundary, in the form of a straight line running from the land boarder of the two nations. The ruling came in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Nigeria: Biafra headed for new genocide?

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/troops-invade-home-ipob-leader/

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/troops-invade-home-ipob-leader/

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/troops-invade-home-ipob-leader/

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/troops-invade-home-ipob-leader/

At least four persons were said to have been killed when troops from the Nigerian Army broke into the Afara-Ukwu, Umuahia country home of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/troops-invade-home-ipob-leader/

four persons were said to have been killed when troops from the Nigerian Army broke into the Afara-Ukwu, Umuahia country home of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/troops-invade-home-ipob-leader/

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/troops-invade-home-ipob-leader/At least AAtt

At least four were killed when Nigerian army troops raided the home of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), in Umuahia, Abia state, Sept. 14. Unconfirmed reports put the number of dead in the raid as high as 22, and it is unclear if Kanu himself was captured, killed or escaped. The raid comes two days after what local media called a "communal clash" between IPOB militants and ethnic Hausa residents in Oyigbo, Rivers state, leaving an undetermined number of casualties. A media representative of President Muhammadu Buhari's office issued a statement claiming a "deliberate and sinister agenda by IPOB to provoke soldiers into killing innocent people," charging the group with "accusing the government of ethnic cleansing against Igbos...for the sole purpose of gaining sympathy."

DRC militia leader turns himself in to UN forces

Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, the leader of a militia in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), turned himself in to UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO) on July 26. The DRC took out a warrant for Sheka's arrest in 2011 after his forces allegedly raped at least 387 civilians during a four-day period in 2010. The militia is also accused of murdering 70 civilians between 2010 and 2015. The UN sanctioned Sheka in 2011 for war crimes, including mass rapes and crimes against children. MONUSCO said that Sheka surrendered near the town of Walikale, North Kivu province, and will be transferred to DRC authorities to eventually stand trial.

Amnesty accuses Cameroon of war crimes

Amnesty International in a report issued July 20 accused Cameroon of torturing suspected supporters of Boko Haram in its military campaign against the jihadist group. According to the human rights organization, hundreds of suspects have been "subjected to severe beatings, agonizing stress positions and drownings, with some tortured to death" at the hands of government authorities. Amnesty documented 101 cases of secret detention and torture within the last four years. Alioune Tine, Amnesty's regional director for West and Central Africa, said, "These horrific violations amount to war crimes." Amnesty also observed American and French military personnel at one of the bases while the detention and torture was taking place. The organization is calling for the US and France to investigate the extent of knowledge that their military personnel may have of war crimes in Cameroon.

ICC rules against South Africa in Omar Bashir case

The International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled (PDF) July 6 that South Africa violated its treaty obligations by failing to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir when he visited the country in 2015. Two arrest warrants (PDF, PDF) have been issued for al-Bashir involving numerous charges including "crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of genocide." South Africa contended that because al-Bashir has immunity from criminal proceedings under customary international law that had not been waived in Sudan, the court was precluded from compelling South Africa to detain and surrender him.

Niger: army massacres displaced peasants

Niger's army on July 6 killed at least 14 displaced persons who were apparently mistaken for jihadists in the restive southeast, where Boko Haram militants have staged regular attacks. Soldiers were patrolling a militarily restricted zone around the village of Abadam near Lake Chad when they opened fire on what turned out to be unarmed peasants. Yahaya Godi, official in charge of the Diffa region, said: "Any individual seen in the area is considered Boko Haram." Thousands of people have been displaced from the southeastern Diffa region, and civilians have been banned from many areas in response to raids by Boko Haram from across the border in Nigeria. Many, however, have been returning to their lands to tend their crops, fearing hunger and permanent displacement.

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