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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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Metro

Malawian court sentences Catholic priest, Police officer, medical practitioner to death for killing albino for rituals

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A Catholic priest, Rev. Father Thomas Muhosha, alongside a police officer, Chikondi Chileka and a medical practitioner, Lumbani Kamanga were on Tuesday, sentenced to death by a Malawian High Court judge, Dorothy Nyakaunda Kamanga, for allegedly conspiring to kill an albino, MacDonald Masambuka, for ritual purposes.

Judge Kamanga also sentenced the duo of Muhosha, Chileka and three others to 30 years imprisonment with hard labor on charges of transacting in human parts, while Kamanga, a clinician, also received an additional 60-year term on charges of extraction of human parts.

Masambuka had reportedly gone missing from his village on March 9, 2018, and a month later, his decapitated body was found buried in the garden of a home in the Machinga district in the south of Malawi where one of the suspects lived.

Documents presented in court showed that the victim’s brother, Cassim Masambuka had lured him to meet the brother’s friends with the ruse that he had found a woman who was willing to marry the albino after many women had rejected him because of his condition.

Cassim Masambuka was also sentenced to life in prison for murder along with a 14-year sentence for trafficking in persons.

The court heard that Cassim and MacDonald got to their destination, the others who had been lying in wait grabbed MacDonald by the neck and dragged him to the garden where they killed him, before cutting off his limbs and burning his body using gasoline.

Lead prosecutor, Pilirani Masanjala, who represented the government in the case, said he was happy with the judgment and praised the judge for the courage to hand out the convictions.

“It (judgement) ensures that all the persons who have been found, charged and convicted of all these heinous crimes will face the full arm of the law.

“So, that is something that for us, as directors for public prosecutions, we are happy to see that the courts are doing nowadays,” Masanjala said to reporters after the landmark judgement.

Attacks and killing of albinos for rituals in Malawi and other eastern and southern African countries have been on the increase despite efforts by the various governments to discourage the practice.

A representative of People With Albinism in Malawi, William Masapi, who lamented the practice of attacking albinos should be treated with such severe punishments to serve as a deterrent to others.

“Because we are also human beings. We need to enjoy life. We have responsibilities in this country; some of us are working in the government taking part in the development of this country. So, people should learn from today that we people with albinism are like them, Masapi said.

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Metro

Leading Egyptian judge declared wanted for allegedly murdering journalist wife

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The Egyptian police has mounted a huge manhunt for a leading judge who has been on the run after he allegedly murdered his television presenter wife earlier this month.

The police, in a statement on Tuesday, said the suspect, Judge Ayman Hajjaj, killed his wife, Shaimaa Gamal, at a farm and the discovery was made after an accomplice was arrested and he led the police to the location where the victim’s body with her face burnt with nitric acid, was recovered.

The Egyptian public prosecutor’s office said its investigations had proved that the TV anchor was last seen with her husband at shopping centre shortly before she was declared missing by her family and work colleagues.

The prosecutor’s office said an international arrest warrant has also been issued as Judge Hajjaj, who is the Deputy Chairman of Egypt’s powerful Council of State, had recently obtained visas for Canada and Poland.

Egyptian Security Services said it found the body of the popular broadcaster who became notorious a few years ago for appearing to snort heroin on live television, inside a villa farm in one of the cities of Giza Governorate, while investigations suggested that her husband was behind her murder.

The Giza Security Directorate said it had received a report stating that “Gamal, a TV presenter working on a private satellite channel, had been missing, as she was presenting a program entitled “The Troubleshooter”, had disappeared in mysterious circumstances 20 days ago, with all her phones are switched off.

“When her body was discovered, Shaima Gamal had her face distorted used nitric acid and fire water. Further investigations has revealed that Shaima Gamal was murdered by the hands of her husband, Judge Ayman Hajja, who is the Counselor and Vice-President of the State Council in Egypt.

“Later on, the police knew from his driver the place where Hajja buried Gamal in a villa in Abusir area in the Al-Badrashin district.

“He brutally murdered her by hitting her on the head with the grip of a pistol, then strangling her with a scarf and burying her after mutilating her face in the villa located in the Mansouriya area,” the Service said.

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