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Shi’ites on rampage in Northern Nigeria

Kaduna, a state in Northern Nigeria, erupted in violence Thursday as suspected members of the Shi’ite sect clashed with operatives of the Nigeria Police Force

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Kaduna, a state in Northern Nigeria, erupted in violence Thursday as suspected members of the Shi’ite sect clashed with operatives of the Nigeria Police Force.

A policeman was reportedly killed in the incident while many members of the sect also sustained injuries in the clash which started on Wednesday.

Members of the group had trooped out in large numbers to witness the the trial of Ibrahim Zakzaky, their leader, at the Kaduna State High Court.

Aliyu Mukhtar, spokesman of the Kaduna police command, said the deceased officer died after being hit by objects thrown at him by the Shi’ites.

“It was a large crowd, the shiite members as usual were hiding in the midst of people and when our men were trying to disperse them, they started throwing stones at them.

“The policeman was hit with stones several times and he fell down. He was taken to the Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital were he gave up,” he said.

Meanwhile, Femi Falana, counsel to Zakzaky, told reporters that the court did not sit and the case was adjourned till July 11.
Falana also condemned the authorities for barring journalists from the court, saying trial is public.

“Ladies and gentlemen you also have a duty to insist on being part of this trial because it is a public trial. It is your right to cover the proceedings” he said.

“What happened in court today is that, the court did not sit. We were informed by the registrar of the court that his lordship, Justice Gideon Kurada is indisposed. In the circumstance, we have to take a date, the prosecution and defense counsel have agreed to come back on 11th July to have possibly the arraignment and file an application for bail for our client.

“So, that is where we are. We don’t know the reason the judge is not in court but we were told he was indisposed.”

Politics

French journalist Galindo covering AU meeting detained in Ethiopia

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Ethiopia claims that a French journalist who came to cover the last African Union (AU) Assembly conference is being held in detention for violating his rules of accreditation.

Prior to the AU Summit, Antoine Galindo, a journalist with the French investigative news site Africa Intelligence, is said to have arrived in Addis Ababa. However, on February 21, he was arrested, charged, and then placed under detention again.

On Monday, a number of international press organisations called for his release, despite Addis Ababa’s contention that the reporter had broken rules.

The Nation was informed by an Ethiopian government spokesman that Galindo was only able to cover the summit and its associated activities due to his credentials.

“The Ethiopian Media Authority (EMA) has not issued any other permit to cover other local issues,” the spokesperson told the Nation on Monday.

“Police have therefore accused him of operating outside the accreditation he was given to cover the AU Summit plus accused him of engaging with members of militant forces that the country has outlawed for their attempts to destabilise a nation.”

The producer of intelligence reports on Africa, Indigo Publications Group, denounced the “unjustified arrest on February 22 and subsequent detection of one of its journalists in Addis Ababa.”

According to the employer, it informed the EMA in writing in January that Galindo will in fact also be covering certain local “Ethiopian affairs” and that it would like to speak with some officials.

While on a reporting assignment in Ethiopia, Galindo was reportedly arrested at approximately 3:55 p.m. and placed under arrest by the cops. Since then, he has been held at the Bole District’s Addis Ababa Police Commission.

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ECOWAS folds, lifts economic, travel sanctions on junta-led Niger, others

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Economic sanctions on Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso were lifted with immediate effect by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Saturday.

This came after the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government held an unprecedented meeting at the State House in Abuja, where they deliberated for hours on the political, peace, and security situation in the region.

Mali and its bordering junta-run nations, Niger and Burkina Faso, abruptly announced last month that they were abandoning ECOWAS, the largest political and economic union in West Africa, reversing decades of regional integration.

The ECOWAS Commission President, Dr. Omar Touray, announced the Authority’s resolutions and stated that it has halted the closing of the air and land border with Niger, creating a no-fly zone for any commercial aircraft.

Additionally, it has halted the unfreezing of all of Niger’s assets at EBID and the freezing of any financial transactions involving the central bank of the ECOWAS states and Niger.

Additionally, it removed the restriction on military junta members’ and their families’ travel. “Based on humanitarian considerations due to lent and the approaching month of Ramadan,” according to Touray, the decision was made.

Sanctions against Mali citizens being elected to ECOWAS positions were also lifted by the authority. Along with the lifting of sanctions against Guinea, all four nations were extended an invitation to future ECOWAS technical consultative meetings.

Additionally, ECOWAS requested that the member states that were withdrawing reevaluate their choice in light of the advantages their citizens had received.

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