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Cameroon’s rebels may not achieve their goal of creating the Ambazonian state – but they’re still a threat to stability

Cameroon’s rebels may not achieve their goal of creating the Ambazonian state – but they’re still a threat to stability

CAMEROON’S separatist insurgency is an armed conflict in the country’s North West (NW) and South West (SW) regions that began in 2017. It pits government forces against several non-state armed groups, locally known as “Amba rebels”. The rebels seek to create a state called Ambazonia out of Cameroon’s English-speaking regions. The conflict has killed over 6,000 people and displaced 765,000. Over 70,000 are refugees in Nigeria. More than 2 million need humanitarian support and 600,000 children have been deprived of effective schooling. MANU LEKUNZE, Lecturer, University of Aberdeen As an international security scholar with an interest in small wars, I…
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UN sanctions six Congo rebels as fighting in east escalates

UN sanctions six Congo rebels as fighting in east escalates

THE United Nations Security Council sanctioned six people from five armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as violent clashes escalated in the region between the Congolese army and Rwandan-backed M23 Tutsi-led rebels. The fighting, in a war that has lasted decades, has increased the risk of an all-out conflict between Congo and Rwanda that could suck in neighbours and regional forces including South Africa, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi. "The United States firmly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC and lasting peace for all Congolese people. Rwanda and the DRC must walk back from the…
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Gunmen kill five Nigerian police officers in the southeast

Gunmen kill five Nigerian police officers in the southeast

GUNMEN killed five Nigerian police officers and two civilians during an attack in the southeastern Imo state on, a police spokesperson said, the latest incident in a state riven by gang and separatist violence. Armed groups have attacked police stations and government and electoral offices in states in the southeast, which the government often blames on the banned separatist Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) group. IPOB denies the charges. Imo police state spokesperson Henry Okoye confirmed the death of the officers and civilians but did not give details. Africa's most populous nation, Nigeria, is prone to widespread insecurity, with gun…
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Rebels attack Central African Republic’s capital

Rebels attack Central African Republic’s capital

SECURITY forces in Central African Republic have repelled an attack by armed groups seeking to seize the capital Bangui, Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada said. The assault represents a marked escalation in fighting with rebel groups that erupted around a disputed December 27 election. The groups attacked towns close to Bangui last month but did not reach the capital as intended. A Reuters witness in Bangui heard explosions and later saw helicopters circling over the city. "The attackers who came in large numbers to take Bangui have been vigorously pushed back," Ngrebada said in a post on Facebook, urging citizens to…
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Nigerian villagers seek safety in Niger

Nigerian villagers seek safety in Niger

ONLY a few days into 2021, gunmen attacked Rambadawa, in northern Nigeria, to loot the village and steal cattle. "I was on my way home when I came face to face with the bandits," says Abdoulaye. "They said: ‘If you move, you're dead!' I barely moved a foot and they shot me in the leg." Abdoulaye fell to the ground, but somehow managed to reach a house to hide out. When the attackers left, two villagers were dead. Aisha, Abdoulaye's heavily pregnant sister-in-law, was at home when she heard gunshots. "They were firing in all directions, people were fleeing for…
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Armed groups attack Mozambique ‘gas town’

Armed groups attack Mozambique ‘gas town’

ARMED groups yesterday attacked the northern Mozambique town closest to gas projects worth some $60 billion, two sources told Reuters, striking ever closer to developments that have already stalled due to security problems. The attack on the town of Palma, less than 25 by road from a construction camp for the gas developments led by oil majors like Total, happened on the same day that the French company announced it would gradually resume works at the site after suspending them due to nearby attacks. Mozambique's northern-most province of Cabo Delgado has since 2017 been home to a festering Islamist insurgency…
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Keeping displaced families safe amid surge in Niger violence

Keeping displaced families safe amid surge in Niger violence

A year ago, when armed men entered Rissa's* remote village in western Niger's volatile border area with Mali, they began by ordering the villagers to hand over money, livestock and jewellery. Then the violence began. When they encouraged Rissa to join their group, the father-of-six knew it was time to go. "They killed our leaders to make [people] leave the village," 40-year-old Rissa explained. "The armed groups approached me to take part in the looting and crimes against the population. When I refused, they sent me death threats and also threatened to kidnap my wife and my children. I had…
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Children seen at risk of recruitment in C.A.R fighting

Children seen at risk of recruitment in C.A.R fighting

EMELINE WUILBERCQ ARMED groups have recruited nearly 3,000 children in Central African Republic (CAR) since violence flared over a December 27 election result and more are at risk as aid fails to reach many people driven from their homes, aid workers said. More than 210,000 people have been uprooted by the fighting, with children increasingly vulnerable to forcible recruitment as humanitarian supplies are cut off by widespread violence and attacks on aid convoys, leaving tens of thousands in dire need. "Children are increasingly exposed to recruitment by armed men for about $30, and many carry the scars and trauma from…
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Up to 65 000 people on run in Nigeria

Up to 65 000 people on run in Nigeria

UP to 65,000 people in northeastern Nigeria have fled their homes after an assault by armed groups on a border town, while attacks that appear to be targeted have forced a temporary halt to aid operations, U.N. agencies said. Local officials and a resident said that at least eight people had been killed in the attack on Damasak by suspected Islamists and that hundreds had fled across the border to Niger, a few kilometres away. "Following the latest attack on Wednesday 14 April, the third in just seven days, up to 80 per cent of the town's population -- which…
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Nigerian university students abducted

Nigerian university students abducted

GARBA MUHAMMAD Kidnappers killed one person and took an unknown number of students from a university in northwest Nigeria's restive Kaduna state, police said yesterday, in the latest in a series of abductions at educational institutes. Armed groups have repeatedly struck northern Nigerian schools and universities since December, abducting more than 700 students for ransom. The government and security forces have largely been unable to stop the attacks as they struggle to contain worsening violence and criminality across the West African country. The armed kidnappers came on foot and struck Greenfield University in Kaduna at around 8.15 p.m. (1915 GMT)…
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