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Senegalese court jails former rebel leader, Cesar Atoute Badiate, for life

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A former Senegalese rebel leader, Cesar Atoute Badiate, has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in the country alongside two other of his henchmen after they were found guilty of murder and armed insurrection over a massacre that claimed 14 lives.

Badiate, who was the leader of the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC), a rebel group fighting for autonomy in the southern Senegalese region, was sentenced in his absentia for the killings on Tuesday as he has been on the run since the massacre in 2018.

The two other convicts, Omar Ampoi Bodian, and a journalist, Rene Capain Bassene, were present in court to receive their sentence, their lawyer, Cire Cledor Ly, told reporters.

Ly said his clients had been the victims of a “judicial swindle,” arguing that those who had escaped the massacre had not recognized the accused, and that some of the defendants had been tortured.

The court in Ziguinchor, the main city in Casamance, also handed down six-month suspended sentences to two other defendants and acquitted 11 others.

The cases, according to local media, was as a result of an uprising on January 6, 2018, when 14 men were rounded up and executed by Badiate’s men as they went to cut wood in a protected forest near Ziguinchor.

The Casamance rebel fighters used the forest as a base and the Senegalese authorities accuse them of financing their activities by trafficking the wood, as well as in cannabis.

But the rebel group has consistently denied any involvement in the massacre, accusing corrupt local officials of carrying out the attack only to implicate them.

Casamance, Senegal’s southernmost region, is almost separated from the rest of the country by the state of The Gambia and has a distinct culture and language derived from its past as a former Portuguese colony.

The MFDC has led a low-intensity separatist campaign since 1982 that has claimed several thousand lives, but the conflict was mostly dormant until Senegal launched a major offensive last year to drive out the rebels.

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Nearly €20 million in contention as Chad arrests top oil sector, banking officials

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An investigation into embezzlement at the national oil company in Chad has led to the arrest of a group of senior officials from Chad’s oil and banking sectors.

According to the government, the arrest has been on over the past 10 days.

The Minister of Communication and government spokesman, Abderaman Koulamallah on Sunday said the embezzlement of 13 billion CFA francs (nearly 20 million euros) within the Chadian oil company (SHT) and the National Security Agency (ANS), the internal and external intelligence services, is conducting the investigation.

Among those arrested is the former private secretary of General Mahamat Déby, Idriss Youssouf Boy. Michel Boayam and Tahir Issa Ali Souleymane were also questioned in the framework of the investigation.

“Many people have been arrested and some have been released as part of the investigation into financial misappropriations of 13 billion CFA francs at the SHT.

“The case is currently being handled by the judiciary” and some of the defendants will eventually be presented to a judge at the end of the preliminary investigation, the spokesman added, without giving any details of the charges.” Koulamallah told journalists.

Chad is a modest oil producer, with 47 million barrels in 2021, The central African country joined the circle of African oil producing and exporting countries in the early 2000s and its economy is now very dependent on it.

It is not uncommon to identify corrupt trend in oil sector in Africa. Report says the 2005–2014 oil boom raised incentives for corruption across the oil industry’s value chain. A highly diverse set of private sector actors engaged in corrupt behavior.

Chad’s neighbour, Nigeria, who is also Africa’s largest oil producer, is perhaps the biggest reference to corruption in oil sector in the continent. Efforts from the Nigerian government to investigate and curtail the ill can be traced to the 1950s during the Olusegun Obasanjo military regime. A panel of enquiry was set up to investigate a Two Billion, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira fraud which could not be accounted for by the NNPC.

The cases of corruption in the sector once again raises question if the liquid tressure has been a blessing or curse to the “black continent.”

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326 Mozambican Police officers dismissed for involvement in crimes since 2020

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The Mozambican Police Force (PRM), has dismissed 326 officers from the force since 2020 over their involvement in different crimes which include extortion, bribery, use of excessive force and violence against citizens.

The dismissal of the police officers was as a result of a 2020/2021 report on human rights abuse in the country put together by the Mozambican Bar Association (OAM), which was released last week in Maputo.

According to the 2020 report, many arbitrary detentions persisted including situations of people being locked up for more than 48 hours in cells and detainees driven to prisons without any magistrate validating their detention.

“Among various abuses, the violence practiced by the police also includes physical assault, arbitrary detention and sometimes even murders.

“For instance, four police officers were sentenced to the maximum penalty of 23 and 24 years in prison, for their involvement, on 7 October 2019, in the murder of the executive director of the Forum of Non-Governmental Organizations of Gaza (FONGA), Anastácio Matavel,” the report stated.

The OAM also recommended exemplary disciplinary, administrative and criminal accountability of those police officers involved in violence against citizens, as well as modification of the requirements for admission of candidates for a police career, ensuring that only persons who show a commitment to the cause of law and order and public security are admitted.

The OAM also called for the dissemination of information on crimes of violence committed by the police, including the names of the officers involved and the disciplinary measures taken.

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