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War on Boko Haram: Amnesty International Reproaches Cameroon for Torturing Suspects.

Amnesty International has released a report which reveals war crimes in the fight against Boko Haram, including horrific use of torture. Detainees have been subjected to severe beatings, agonising stress positions and drownings, with some tortured to death. The report details torture at 20 sites, including four military bases, two facilities run by intelligence services, a private residence and a school. Castigating the abuse, Amnesty has called for the US and other international partners to investigate their military personnel’s possible knowledge of torture at one base. Alioune Tine, Amnesty’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa said while the organisation condemns the atrocities committed by Boko Haram, nothing could justify the “widespread practice of torture committed by the security forces against ordinary Cameroonians”.

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Nigerian presidency release photo of Buhari in London

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has made an appearance since leaving the country for medical treatment in London, appearing in a picture released on Twitter by the Presidency of Nigeria. Although the latest picture could dispel the rumours doing the rounds in Nigeria, lack of clarity on the nature of Buhari’s illness and what the prognosis for his long-term health could be, can spur more damaging speculations.

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Horrific atrocities committed in DRC’s Kasai province as 3,300 people reported dead

The Catholic Church has revealed that more than 3,300 people have been killed in the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Kasai region since last October. The UN also gave details of “harrowing reports” of killings, mutilation and entire villages destroyed in Kasai. The humanitarian and human rights situation has continued to deteriorate and the civilian population in the Kasai is in a precarious state following reports of “ethnic hatred, resulting in extremely grave, widespread and apparently planned attacks,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein told the Council. There has been reports of fighting between the Congolese security forces and militia members. The Congolese authorities have rejected a proposal by the UN Human Rights Council to send in an investigation team to look into the violence that has killed hundreds of civilians.

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5 pictures of African literary giant Wole Soyinka on his 83rd birthday

Today an African literary giant Prof Wole Soyinka celebrates his birthday. Prof Soyinka, a Nigerian poet and novelist turns 83. Soyinka is considered one of the foremost African poetry, and prose writers. He was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first African to be honoured in that category. As we celebrate Prof Soyinka’s 83rd birthday, we look at some moments in his life in pictures.

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Cartoon: Africa has “civilisational” problems French President Macron says

France’s newly elected president, Emmanuel Macron, has come under fire for the racist remarks he made during a press conference at the G20 summit in Hamburg on why there was no Marshall plan for Africa. In his response Macron said that Africa has “civilisational” problems and the continent’s challenges also have to do with “countries today still are having 7 to 8 children per woman.” These racist statements have led to wide condemnation on social media. It seems, the more things change, the more they remain the same as far as racist attitudes and stereotypes about Africa are concerned.

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Zimbabwe: Pres Mugabe hands a $1 million cheque to the AU after Zim’s cattle sale

Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, has donated 300 cows to raise money for the Africa Union (AU) Foundation to help stop dependance on foreign aid funding. President Mugabe handed a $1 million cheque to the AU after the cattle were sold in Zimbabwe. The cheque was handed to the AU at its leaders’ summit in Ethiopia, and Pres Mugabe said his friends helped contribute to the noble cause to help end AU’s aid dependancy. However, President Mugabe’s donation has been met with strong criticism considering that the gift comes amid a severe cash crisis in Zimbabwe.

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Sincere apology or expediency? South Africa’s Helen Zille unreserved apologises for colonialism tweets

South African politician, Helen Zille has finally relented, publicly apologising for her tweets saying colonialism had positive aspects having fervently defended the offensive remarks. In previous tweets she’d said, “For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc.” On Power Fm she also declared that colonialism cannot be compared to holocaust. She said, “There is a big difference between genocide and colonialism. The holocaust was a deliberate attempt to murder 11-million people. There is a difference between colonialism and a deliberate genocidal project”. Zille’s colonialism comments caused major public outrage forcing her to apologise, following her suspension from her party, the Democratic Alliance.

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U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement will hurt Africa

Global warming affects Africa significantly more than other regions despite the fact that the continent contributes much less to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Seven out of 10 countries in a list of countries which are threatened by climate change are in Africa. U.S. president Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accords, has caused widespread criticism. The U.S.’s decision to pull out is despite the fact that the country is the world’s biggest polluter. The agreement deals with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. 195 countries, including all 55 African countries, signed the agreement. Activists and leaders across the continent have condemned President Trump’s move, which they say will hurt Africa particularly in agriculture, the biggest source of many people’s livelihoods.