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Deadly attack in South-West Cameroon claims 26, scores injured, others displaced

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A deadly attack launched by separatist insurgents in the South-Western town of Akwaya in Cameroon has claimed the lives of not less than 26 villagers, while several others were injured and displaced, forcing them to flee to safety.

The attack, according to the Human Rights Watch (HRW) quoting local authorities, which occured on Saturday, further added fuel to long-running inter-ethnic conflicts over land and supremacy.

A medical officer in the Akwaya district, Enow Daniel Kewong, who confirmed the incident, said 26 bodies have been found so far and people were still missing after the attack on Ballin village, near the border with Nigeria.

The member of parliament for the district, Aka Martin Tyoga, who also spoke on the attack, however gave a conflicting figure on the deaths, saying he had been told 32 people were been buried in a mass grave, including six Nigerians, while many have fled into safety in Nigeria.

The HRW, in a statement on Monday, said separatists in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions had increased the number of violent actions this year, including killings, kidnappings and attacks on schools.

“Armed separatist groups are kidnapping, terrorising, and killing civilians across the English-speaking regions with no apparent fear of being held to account by either their own leaders or Cameroonian law enforcement,” said Ilaria Allegrozzi, senior central Africa researcher at HRW.

Anglophone insurgents have been fighting the Cameroonian military in the South-West and North-West regions in 2017 after civilian protests calling for greater representation for the country’s English-speaking minority were violently repressed, giving birth to the Ambazonia separatists which have been clamouring for independence since then.

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Guinean demonstrators hit UN building in Brussels, Belgium over junta’s anti-protest policy

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Guinean opposition coalition have staged a demonstration in front of European Union (EU) buildings in Brussels, Belgium on Sunday in reaction against the ruling junta’s decision to ban public protest.

An order by the ruling military junta in Guinea suspended a major collective, National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (NFDC) that has been protesting against it.

According to document signed by Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, Mory Condé, “the de facto grouping known as the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution is dissolved” and “this order (…) takes effect from the date of its signature.”

“The country or death!” organizers exhorted the crowd, which was watched over by a small contingent of Belgian police.

The rally demanded the exit of junta leader Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, who overthrew former president Alpha Conde in September last year.

“We are going to try and tell authorities here (in the EU) that, no, it’s not working in Guinea, no, there has been treason,” said one Guinean civil society activist, Naby Laye Camara.

“They (the CNRD) haven’t come for democracy, they have effectively come to confiscate power and even the liberty of people,” he said.

The decision to suspend the pressure group has been criticized by the opposition. Cellou Dalein Diallo, who is the main Guinean opponent under former president Alpha Conde, condemned the decision, and rated it “a blow to freedom, justice, democracy and peace” on social networks.

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Somali government receives food aid from UAE as dought worsens

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE), has donated 40 containers of food aid to Somalia as severe drought and famine continue to ravage the Horn of Africa country.

Somali state media which confirmed the receipt of the food aid on Sunday, said the items which also include medical supplies, arrived on Saturday and would be distributed to millions of people who have so far displaced by the drought.

In a handover ceremony that took place in Mogadishu’s seaport, government officials said it received much-needed humanitarian assistance from the UAE in the presence of senior Somali government officials.

UAE Ambassador to Somalia Mohamed al-Othmani, who spoke at the handover said the food supplies include more than 1,000 metric tons sent by the UAE Red Crescent, meant to help Somalia fight the drought that has devastated the country.

“We are handing over a thousand tons of aid to the Somali government. You know that earlier this year the UAE donated 35 million Dirham, $9.5 million, to the Somali government,” al-Othmani said.

Somalia’s state Minister for the office of the Prime Minister, Hirsi Jama Gani, who spoke on behalf on the government, said the country welcomed the assistance and thanked the UAE for helping Somalia’s drought relief efforts.

“We thank UAE for this and previous assistance meant to help drought-affected people. We know the situation that our people are in who are in a middle of drought and calling other parties and Somalis to join the efforts to reach people in need,” Gani said.

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