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UN says ISIS becoming weaker in Africa but African countries know better

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A new report released by the United Nations Security Council has revealed that the threat of ISIS terror group and its several affiliates in African countries are becoming weaker, as more fighters are being killed or have deserted the groups.

In the report, the UN credited the decline to the “deaths of leading ISIS terrorists and the desertion of thousands of fighters from the group,” with the belief that this has left it in a “weakened” position.

The report which was released on Tuesday, was compiled by the UN body’s Counter-terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (Cted), after meetings with more than 50 representatives of African civil society organisations in 15 member states, according to the Council.

“The report was conducted to increase understanding of the impact of ISIS-affiliated groups in Africa and identify gaps in the way nations are tackling them.

“Roundtable participants emphasised that ISIS-affiliated groups were currently in a crucial period.

“The relatively recent deaths of Abu Musab Al Barnawi of ISWAP (IS West Africa Province), Abubakar Shekau of Boko Haram and Adnan Abu Walid Al Sahrawi of ISGS (IS in the Greater Sahara), and the desertion of thousands of individuals from the groups’ ranks, signalled a possible weakening of ISIS-affiliated groups in parts of Africa,” the report said.

However, the African nations that are at the receiving end of the terrorists incursions, especially countries like Nigeria, Niger Republic, Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso and others in the Sahel region, have other stories to tell.

With ISIS suffering territorial losses in Syria and Iraq, it has moved into Africa and made the continent a huge target, establishing branches in several nations.

A number of ISIS and their affiliated groups in Africa have continued to launch deadly and co-ordinated attacks, capturing strategic territories, massively recruiting followers using anti-government propaganda, conscripting child soldiers and abducting women and girls in the process.

The frequency of ISIS attacks on the continent has led to serious casualties across the continent with the people facing unprecedented terrorist threats.

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Nigeria: Zamfara state government wants gun licenses for residents over insecurity

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The Commissioner for information in one of Nigeria’s Northern states, Zamfara state says residents in the state can start approaching the police command in the state for gun licences.

The troubled state wants individuals to carry guns to defend themselves against armed gangs of kidnappers causing havoc in the country’s northwest.

The commissioner, Ibrahim Magaji Dosara in statement said the state governor had directed the state police commissioner to issue 500 gun licences in each of the 19 emirates in the state to those wishing to defend themselves.

“Government is ready to facilitate people, especially our farmers to secure basic weapons for defending themselves,” Dosara said.

The state also banned the use of motorcyles and selling of petrol in three districts and one emirate, in areas which are the most affected by banditry, Dosara said. The state is divided into emirates and the emirates into districts.

“Anybody found riding motorbike within the areas is considered as bandits and security agencies are thereby directed to shoot such persons at sight,” said Dosara.

Gunmen, locally called bandits, have been attacking and killing thousands of people in the country’s North-west since 2017. These assailants have attacked rural dwellers, destroyed their farmlands and in many cases only allow them to the farm after they have paid protection fees. They have also targeted travellers across the region in what some analysts say is one of the most lucrative kidnap-for-ransom syndicates in the continent.

Owning a gun in Zamfara needs permission from the state governor and state police commissioner.

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Ex-Liberian rebel warlord charged in US over attempt to obtain citizenship fraudulently

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A former commanding general of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), a notorious rebel group during the West African country’s civil war, Moses Wright, who had sought asylum in the US has been charged with fraudulently attempting to obtain US citizenship, among other crimes.

According to the United States Justice Department, the 69-year-old Wright lied about his involvement in the persecuting and killing of non-combatants during the war when he applied for US citizenship.

If convicted, Wright faces a maximum possible sentence of 165 years in prison and a $7m (£5.7m) fine, according to the JD.

“The United States will not be a safe haven for human rights violators and war criminals,” the United States Attorney, Jacqueline C. Romero, said on the indictment of Wright.

The indictment of Wright comes after two other former combatants in Liberia’s civil war, Mohammed Jabbateh and Thomas Woewiyu, were convicted in the US for similar offences while a third rebel leader, Sekou Kamara, was arrested earlier this year in New York.

The AFL was responsible for death of an estimated 250,000 Liberians which amounted to around 8% of the population at the time, in the war which started from 1989 to 1997 and in 1999 to 2003, according to a report by the Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in late 2021, which described the AFL as a “significant violator group found to be behind some of the civil war’s largest scale massacres.”

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