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Rescue team hopeful as search for workers stuck in Burkina Faso mine continues

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Following the report from gold-rich Burkina Faso that eight miners were trapped inside a mine last month, a new report from the government says the rescue team are edging closer to finding the stuck workers.

The government said rescue teams pumping water from the flooded zinc mine in which the eight workers have been trapped for almost a month are drawing closer to a refuge chamber where they may have sought safety.

The operations that got the miners stuck reportedly started on the 21st of April after the Perkoa zinc mine was flooded and families of the affected miners are beginning to lose hope, given the slow pace of the operation.

The company said that while most workers underground were able to safely evacuate, the eight missing were below Level 520, which is 520 metres (1,706 feet) from the surface, at the time of the flooding.

Burkina Faso’s government spokesman Lionel Bilgo, revealed that over 38 million litres of water had been removed, leaving 10 metres of water above the first refuge chamber.

“The air vent is still working so that allows us to keep hope,” Bilgo told reporters on his way out of a council meeting…It is a race against time,” he said.

Burkina Faso Prime Minister has revealed that managers of the mine have been banned from leaving the country while investigations are underway into the cause of the accident.

Country Director of Nantou Mining, the Trevali entity that owns Perkoa, Ditil Moussa Palenfo admitted “there is still a lot to do” to reach the refuge chamber.

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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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