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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.”

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Mali declares 3 days warning after deadliest terrorist attack

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Troubled West African country, Mali declared three days of national mourning following the deadliest recent attacks by Islamist militants.

In a recent ambush on Sunday , 42 soldiers were killed in the northern region of Gao. A statement by the army claimed jihadi extremists used drones, artillery and booby-trapped vehicles.

Armed groups affiliated with al-Qa’ida, have for some time attacked military bases in the West African country. They claimed responsibility for attacks on Mali’s main military base in an attack last month.

Terrorists also recently killed 15 soldiers and three civilians in two separate operations in southwest Mali.

Meanwhile, Mali on Thursday announced the delivery of aircrafts L-39 and Sukhoi-25 jets as well as Mi-24P helicopter gunships were displayed during a ceremony from Russia.

Mali under the current Junta of Colonel Goita has been on a thread of breaking diplomatic relations with allies. It started by breaking defence alliance with the French, the junta also quit the anti-jihadist force, G-5 force but has enjoyed good relationship with Russia.

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Right group, HRW, indicts Cameroonian troops of killing Anglophone separatists

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Right group, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Cameroonian troops in the Northwest Regions of killing at least 10 people in a crackdown against anglophone separatists.

HRW indicts Cameroon’s military in a string of allegations monitored in the battle between security forces and English-speaking militants seeking cessation in francophone-majority Cameroon.

According to the report, “Cameroonian soldiers summarily killed at least 10 people and carried out a series of other abuses between April 24 and June 12, during counter-insurgency operations in the North-West region.

“The troops also burned 12 homes, destroyed, and looted health facilities, arbitrarily detained at least 26 people, and are presumed to have forcibly disappeared up to 17 others.”

The Anglophones of Cameroon, 20 per cent of the population, feel marginalised. Their frustrations surfaced dramatically at the end of 2016 when a series of sectoral grievances morphed into political demands, leading to strikes and riots.

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