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Nigeria bars calls from unregistered phones in attempt to boost security

Nigeria bars calls from unregistered phones in attempt to boost security

NIGERIA has repeated its demand for telecom companies to bar calls from unregistered phone lines, part of the government's policy to boost security amid an Islamist insurgency and a spate of kidnappings. The country's telecoms regulator had in December 2020 ordered mobile phone providers to add identification numbers (NINs) - containing personal data identifying the user - to every SIM card registered in the country or block the SIMs. The government had extended the SIM registration deadline several times before the latest directive to bar calls from unregistered SIMs. Communication Minister Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami said in a statement outgoing…
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Search for 3 Italians kidnapped in Mali

Search for 3 Italians kidnapped in Mali

ARMED men kidnapped an Italian couple and their son in southern Mali overnight, their church said, as violence spreads in a country ravaged by an Islamist insurgency. A spokesman for the Jehovah's Witnesses church in neighbouring Senegal said the couple is in their 70s and their son is about 50. They were living in Mali for personal reasons and are not missionaries, he said. It was not immediately clear who took them, he said. Media outlets reported that a Togolese national was kidnapped along with the Italians, but the spokesman said he could not confirm that. Italy's foreign affairs ministry…
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Burkina Faso army deposes president in West Africa’s latest coup

Burkina Faso army deposes president in West Africa’s latest coup

THIAM NDIAGA BURKINA Faso's army said it had ousted President Roch Kabore, suspended the constitution, dissolved the government and the national assembly, and closed the country's borders. The announcement cited the deterioration of the security situation and what the army described as Kabore's inability to unite the West African nation and effectively respond to challenges, which include an Islamist insurgency. Signed by Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba and read by another officer on state television, the announcement said the takeover had been carried out without violence and that those detained were at a secure location. The statement was made in…
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Exclusive: SA’s military solution for Mozambique

Exclusive: SA’s military solution for Mozambique

WENDELL ROELF SOUTH Africa will press for urgent military action by regional body SADC to quell an Islamist insurgency in Mozambique threatening to destabilize neighbouring countries, the foreign minister has said. It will make this call at a summit of the Southern African Development Community's 16 member states next week, Naledi Pandor told Reuters in a telephone interview. SADC leaders have been discussing how to tackle the insurgency by Islamic State-linked militants, with an option for force, but this is the first time South Africa has explicitly thrown its weight behind the idea of military intervention. View Post Since 2008,…
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Nigeria’s military investigates reports of Boko Haram leader’s death

Nigeria’s military investigates reports of Boko Haram leader’s death

CAMILLUS EBOH NIGERIA’S military is investigating reports that the leader of militant Islamist group Boko Haram may have been killed or seriously injured following clashes with rival jihadists, according to an army spokesman. Abubakar Shekau has been the figurehead of an Islamist insurgency that has since 2009 killed more than 30,000 people, forced around 2 million people to flee their homes and spawned one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. A number of reports published on Thursday in Nigeria media, citing intelligence sources, said Shekau was seriously hurt or killed after his insurgents clashed with members of Islamic State in…
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Mozambique asks EU for help in tackling insurgency

Mozambique asks EU for help in tackling insurgency

MOZAMBIQUE has asked the European Union for support in tackling a wave of militant attacks in the country's north by rebels with links to Islamic State, a conflict that has raised fears for stability and security in southern Africa. The Islamist attacks in Cabo Delgado province date to 2017 but the violence has gathered pace this year, with insurgents seizing important towns for brief periods and hitting military and other key targets. The Portuguese news agency Lusa said on Tuesday Mozambique had written to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to ask for help in training its armed forces to…
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Nigeria to deliver aid by air in conflict-hit northeast

Nigeria to deliver aid by air in conflict-hit northeast

NIGERIA’S government plans to deliver humanitarian aid supplies by air to people in remote communities in parts of the northeast that have been ravaged by the decade-long Islamist insurgency spearheaded by Boko Haram. The insurgency, which since 2009 has killed around 35,000 people and forced two million people to flee their homes, has spawned one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. Seven million people need some form of aid, the United Nations estimates. Photo: Wikimedia Commons Humanitarian affairs minister Sadiya Umar Farouk on Sunday told reporters in Maiduguri, capital of the conflict-ravaged Borno state, that Nigerian Air Force helicopters and…
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Boko Haram claim shooting down of Nigerian Air Force jet

Boko Haram claim shooting down of Nigerian Air Force jet

ISLAMIST insurgency Boko Haram claimed the shooting down of a Nigerian Air Force fighter jet in a video seen by Reuters on yesterday, two days after the aeroplane went missing in the country's northeast. Reuters was unable to verify the authenticity of the video. The loss of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha Jet 475 dealt a blow to Nigeria's efforts to combat jihadist insurgencies in the northeast, where airpower has been crucial in attempts to stem the spread of Boko Haram and its more powerful offshoot, Islamic State West Africa Province. Soldiers have for years relied on jet bombardments to…
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Thousands displaced by violence in Mozambique gas town

Thousands displaced by violence in Mozambique gas town

MANUEL MUCARI PORTUGAL will send soldiers to Mozambique to help train the armed forces in its former colony, where authorities battling an Islamist insurgency searched for tens of thousands of civilians who fled an onslaught on the northern coastal gas town of Palma. Many of those fleeing are believed to have scattered into dense surrounding forest or to have attempted to escape by boat when Palma came under attack on Wednesday, aid workers told Reuters. Some waded out to sea to hide, one survivor told Reuters. Mozambique's government has confirmed dozens of deaths, including at least seven who died when…
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Intensifying Islamist insurgency in Mozambique drives humanitarian crisis

Intensifying Islamist insurgency in Mozambique drives humanitarian crisis

MORE than half-a-million people have fled their homes due to an Islamist insurgency in northern Mozambique, and the violence and humanitarian crisis will worsen without international help, according to United Nations officials. "If nothing is done soon, we won't have only 535,000 displaced people. We won't have only 2,000 people killed by the conflict, but tens of thousands," said Valentin Tapsoba, regional director for the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR). The displaced people were in a dire situation, with overcrowding, malnutrition and a lack of essentials including food and water, the officials said in an online news briefing. Insurgents staged…
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