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27 million people going hungry as worst in decade food crisis hits West Africa – Report

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A report by West Africa Oxfam says West Africa has been hit by its worst food crisis in a decade, with 27 million people going hungry with a possibility of a rise to 38 million by June.

This alert is issued by eleven international organizations in response to new analyses of the March 2022 Cadre Harmonisé (CH), ahead of the virtual conference on the food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel and Lake Chad organized by the European Union and the Sahel and West Africa Club.

The Regional Director of Oxfam, a global movement of people who are fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice, Assalama Dawalack Sidi, speaking on the situation said “This is 40 percent more than the number we had last year at the same time, at the same period and this is four times more than the numbers we used to see ten years ago… so this is why we really want to call on donors’ attention, on governments’ attention because we know that there are so many other crises here and there but this crisis does deserve to be visible”.

The body further says drought and worsening floods have reduced the food sources as well as regional conflicts and the war in Ukraine.

“Six out of the 12 countries where Oxfam operates in West Africa import their wheat from Ukraine or Russia, and because of this crisis in Ukraine, this is no longer possible. And if they cannot import wheat, that means it is creating a shortage in the food available in the countries and therefore increasing the prices and making it very difficult for people to afford food”, explains Assalama Dawalack Sidi.

Recall that last month, Africa’s richest man, Dangote, Dangote Group CEO, Aliko Dangote of Nigeria which is the largest economy in West Africa asked the country’s President to place an embargo on the export of maize to ensure food security in the country amid the Russia-Ukraine war.

“We would start seeing people exporting maize to earn foreign exchange, which I believe we should stop,” he pointed out. “We need to grow more so we don’t have a shortage of food. It is about food security, and it’s serious.” Dangote said.

 

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South African serial rapist gets four life imprisonment terms

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A South African serial rapist and killer, Philani Justice Nkosi, has been sentenced to four life imprisonment terms by a Mpumalanga High Court for rape and murder.

The court also sentenced the 35-year-old to 15 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of murdering one of his victims who recognised him.

Nkosi was sentenced on Friday after the court found him guilty of one count of murder, three counts of rape and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, Monica Nyuswa, who expressed satisfaction with the sentence, said Nkosi committed the offences between 2014 and 2018 in Bhuga Trust and Halfway Trust in KaBokweni.

“In one incident which stands out, the accused attacked a 12-year-old victim while she was on the way to the local shop. He dragged her to the nearby bush, raped and strangled her to death,” Nyuswa said.

“He also raped another woman in March 2016, stabbed and robbed her of cash.

“The accused continued with his crime spree until December 2018 when he raped an adult woman who was on her way home from work.

“The matter was reported to the police, and the accused was subsequently arrested and linked to other crimes through DNA,” Nyuswa said.

Nkosi who pleaded not guilty to the crimes, claimed the two rape survivors were prostitutes and that the deceased was his girlfriend.

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Tanzanian court sentences 11 people to death for killing South African conservationist

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A Tanzanian High Court has sentenced 11 people to death after they were found guilty of killing a South African conservationist, Wayne Lotter, who was murdered in Dar es Salaam in 2017.

The convicts include nine Tanzanians and two citizens of neighbouring Burundi.

The victim was a renowned anti-poaching activist who was singled out by the convicts for disrupting their illegal poaching activities, according to prosecutors while testifying in court on Friday.

State prosecutors told Judge Leila Mgonya that the 51-year-old Lotter who was based in Tanzania, was a founder of the PAMS Foundation, an NGO which worked to stop the poaching of elephants and trafficking of ivory in the East African country.

He was shot dead in Dar es Salaam when the taxi he was travelling in was ambushed and though the exact motive for his killing is still unknown, his colleagues believe he was singled out for his work on protecting elephants, local media reports.

While handing down the death sentences, Judge Mgonya said there was compelling evidence that linked the 11 to the two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and murder on which they were charged

“Some of the suspects, in their statements recorded by police officers, confessed to have taken part in the conspiracy meetings and in killing. The evidence provided was strong enough to convict them,” the judge said.

Tanzania is one of the worst hit African countries in terms of elephant poaching, with a data released early this year noting that more than 66,000 elephants have been lost in the last 10 years due to the activities of illegal poachers.

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