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Explosion at illegal refineries kills scores in Rivers, Imo states Nigeria

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An overnight explosion at an illegal oil refining depot on the border of Nigeria’s Rivers and Imo states has killed more than 100 people.

The site was in the Ohaji-Egbema local government area of Imo state in the Abaezi forest that straddles the border of the two states.

The state commissioner for petroleum resources, Goodluck Opiah, said “The fire outbreak occurred at an illegal bunkering site and it affected over 100 people who were burnt beyond recognition.”

Former president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (Mosop), Ledum Mitee while speaking on the accident said “the Rivers state governor has made a push recently to stamp out illegal refining in Rivers so it has to move to the fringes and neighboring states. In the last month or two, there were several raids, and some security agents involved were tackled.”

Operations of illegal refineries are common in the oil-rich Niger Delta region. In January, troops of Operation Delta Safe discovered and immobilized a total of 39 illegal refining sites and a total of 637,500 liters of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil; and 950,000 liters of Stolen Crude oil were recovered in the course of the operations.

Although Nigeria is one of the largest oil producers in the world, the West African country does not refine crude oil locally. State-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has four refineries, two in Port Harcourt (PHRC), and one each in Kaduna (KRPC) and Warri (WRPC) but none has worked to capacity for years despite several investments to succinate the refineries.

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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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