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Senegal jails teachers

A teacher in Senegal has been given a five-year prison sentence and another has been fined $32,000 (£24,300) for selling exam papers

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A teacher in Senegal has been given a five-year prison sentence and another has been fined $32,000 (£24,300) for selling exam papers.

French, English, history and geography baccalaureate tests had to be scrapped last year after the question sheets circulated on social media and WhatsApp.

Several other teachers and dozens of pupils have also been punished.

Their sentences range from two-month suspended terms to two years in jail.

The headmaster of Lycée de Kahone in Senegal’s capital city, Dakar, admitted selling exam papers but said he was not motivated by the money.

“I wanted to help someone vulnerable who was struggling to get their baccalaureate,” Mamadou Djibril Dia is quoted by news site La Vie Senegalaise as telling Dakar’s Correctional Court.

“[She] asked me to help her because she had already failed twice… If I had wanted to make money I would have sold the tests to wealthier people,” he added.

Read Also: Rwanda battles chronic malnutrition in 16% of children

In addition to his five-year prison sentence, Dia was fined 500,000 CFA francs ($886; £676).

Teachers from at least two secondary schools have also been sentenced for “criminal conspiracy, fraud and fraudulently obtaining undue material benefits”.
The heaviest of these was a fine of $32,000 and a two-year prison sentence handed to French teacher Abdoulaye Ndour of Lycée Yalla Suren.

Senegalese news site Le Soleil says the court heard evidence that Ndour had placed $12,000 of proceeds from exam paper sales in his bank account.
A total of 32 pupils received suspended sentences for their involvement, ranging from six months to two years in jail.

“We were shocked by the magnitude of the fraud,” said Saourou Sène, of Senegal’s national union of middle and secondary school teachers (SAEMS).

“This verdict should serve as a lesson to anyone who might be tempted to sabotage or scuttle the baccalaureate in Senegal.”

Metro

Killing of Pakistani journalist in Kenya targeted assassination, investigators say

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A team of Pakistani investigators who investigated the killing of veteran journalist and news anchor, Arshad Sharif, in Kenya, have released a report saying his murder was a planned and targeted assassination’.

Sharif, who was very critical of Pakistan’s government andpowerful army, was killed on October 23 when police shot at his car on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

The Kenyan Police was to later release a statement saying it regretted the incident, claiming it was a case of “mistaken identity” during a search for a similar car involved in a child abduction case.

“This was a planned, targeted assassination … rather than a case of mistaken identity as the Kenyan police claimed,” the report said.

The report further suggested the bullet that fatally wounded Sharif was fired from either inside the car or from close range.

Sharif’s killing had led to condemnations and calls for an independent probe with Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, announcing an investigation and promising that his government’s findings would be made public.

The investigators’ 592-page report released on Wednesday, seen by said the Kenyan Police issued contradictory statements following the killing of the 49-year-old journalist who was living in exile after he fled Pakistan in August to avoid arrest in the wake of multiple cases, including sedition charges, slapped on him for making comments on his show which the military and government deemed inciting and offensive.

As part of the investigation, two Pakistani officials had travelled to Kenya where they met with police and Sharif’s brothers Khurram and Waqar Ahmed, are residents in the eastern African country.

According to the report, Khurram told the investigators he had been in the car with Sharif at the time of the shooting, travelling home after dinner.

“They saw the roadblock, which Khurram believed to have been set up by robbers. As they sped through, he heard the fatal gunshots,” part of the report said.

“Khurram said he then called his brother who advised that he keep driving until they reached the family’s farmhouse, several kilometres away. Once at the house, the brothers found Sharif was already dead,” it added.

Meanwhile, Islamabad police have charged two Pakistani businessmen living in Kenya, who had hosted Sharif in the African country, with involvement in his killing.

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Metro

Nigerian Army denies Reuters reports of forced “abortion programme” for Boko Haram victims

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The Nigerian Army has debunked a report by international media outfit, Reuters, which indicted the military authorities of forcefully terminating at least 10,000 pregnancies for female victims of Boko Haram jihadists who were abducted and impregnated by the terrorists in northeast Nigeria.

The news agency had, in a report on Wednesday, accused the Nigerian military of “conducting years-long illicit programme to carry out abortions among women and girls who have been victims of armed groups.”

“Since at least 2013, the Nigerian military has conducted a secret, systematic and illegal abortion programme in the country’s northeast, ending at least 10,000 pregnancies among women and girls,” the agency said.

It also said many of the women and girls had been kidnapped and raped by the armed fighters, and those who resisted an abortion ran the risk of being “beaten, held at gunpoint or drugged into compliance.”

Reuters said its report was based on witness statements from 33 women and girls, five health workers, and nine security personnel involved in the alleged programme, and on military documents and hospital records describing or tallying thousands of abortion procedures.

“Most of the abortions were carried out without the women’s consent and some were conducted without their prior knowledge, through abortion-inducing pills or injections passed off as medications to boost health or combat disease,” the agency said.

But in a response on Thursday, the Nigerian Army denied the report, describing it as “a body of insults on the Nigerian peoples and culture.”

In a statement signed by Army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Bernard Nwachukwu, said “Nigerian military personnel have been raised, bred and further trained to protect lives.”

“The Nigerian military will not, therefore, contemplate such evil of running a systematic and illegal abortion programme anywhere and anytime, and surely not on our own soil,” the statement said.

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