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Gunmen kidnap five priests, nun, worshippers, burn down Catholic Church in Cameroon

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Gunmen on Sunday attacked a Catholic Church in a Cameroonian village where they abducted five priests, a nun, two worshippers before setting the church on fire.

The incident, according to the Bamenda Provincial Episcopal Conference, took place the St Mary in the village of Nchang in the volatile South-West region where anglophone separatist groups have been fighting for independence.

“It was with great shock and utter horror that we, the Bishops of the BAPEC learnt of the burning down of the St Mary’s Catholic Church, Nchang… and the kidnapping of five priests, one religious sister and two lay faithful by unknown gunmen,” the statement lamented.

“This act was completely unprecedented and, as of now, no concrete reason has been given for this heinous act against the house of God and the messengers of God,” the Conference added.

The Southern and Western regions of Cameroon have suffered years of a bloody conflict between anglophone separatists and the state with the for English speakers which make up a majority of the populations in the regions, battling for an independent Ambazonia nation.

The separatist groups feel they have been marginalised by the predominantly French-speaking country which has seen President Paul Biya ruling with an iron fist since 1982.

The anglophone separatists which has often claim discrimination against them, first declared an independent state, the “Federal Republic of Ambazonia” in 2017, an entity that is not recognised internationally.

And since then, the regions have been thrown into a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives with many others displaced in the process following crackdown by the military.

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Despite denials, new satellite images reveal Eritrea Army build-up near Tigray

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Despite Eritrea denying that its army is not involved in launching assaults on Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, new satellite images have shown its military building up near the troubled region in preparation for what many say will be a large-scale offensive.

Last week, the Tigray forces had accused Eritrea of launching a full-scale offensive along its border after a break down of a five-month truce between its forces and the Ethiopian government which saw an escalation of fighting that renewed in August.

But while the Eritrean government denied that its military was building up offensive against Tigray, satellite imagery provided by Maxar Technologies on Thursday shows battle tanks, self-propelled howitzers, and an M-46 field gun battery in the Eritrean town of Serha, near the border.

Other satellite imagery captured and shared by Maxar shows military mobilization in the Tigray town of Sheraro.

Since conflicts broke out between Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Eritrea has secretly fought alongside Ethiopia against the Tigrayan forces while rejecting allegations that its soldiers committed some of the worst atrocities in the conflict that began in late 2020.

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Finally, trial of Rwanda Genocide alleged mastermind, Félicien Kabuga, resumes at UN tribunal

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The trial of one of the alleged masterminds and financiers of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Félicien Kabuga has gone has begun at a United Nations Tribunal in the Hague.

Judges at the tribunal revealed on Thursday morning that the hearing will proceed although Kabuga was not attending the opening of the three counts of genocide in Rwanda.

Mr. Félicien Kabuga is accused of aiding and abetting hit squads in the slaughter of about 800,000 persons from the Tutsis ethnic in just 100 days, and of using a radio station to incite hatred against them.

Prosecutors argue that Kabuga is behind the most powerful weapon in the genocide’s execution – a radio station used to mobilize one ethnic group, Hutus, to take up arms against another, Tutsis.

The radio station is alleged to have broadcast hateful messages, describing Tutsis as “cockroaches”.

There has been the prosecution of some of the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide in the East African country. In 2011, two key organizers of the Rwandan genocide in 1994 were sentenced to life in prison by the United Nations tribunal dealing with war crimes in the country.

Africa’s rich ethnic diversity is not void of clashes such as the Rwanda genocide. An ethnicity is a group of people who share an identity marked by a characteristic such as a language, culture, leadership, or inhabited territory.

Other African countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo have all had and still share ethnic conflict.

Observers have argued that the administrative and structural divisions that came with colonialism account for part of the remote cause for inter-ethnic clashes in the continent as the post-colonial structures which many African societies continued after independence pitch the ethnics against each other, thus creating a rife atmosphere for conflict.

Beyond colonialism, however, the lack of the political will to maintain previous peace agreements, and to a large extent ineffective conflict management also contribute to the disturbing cases of ethnic clashes in Africa.

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