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Abducted Cameroonian journalist found dead

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A prominent Cameroonian journalist and government critic, Martinez Zogo, who was abducted last week after he exposed financial crimes involving government officials has been found dead near the capital, Yaounde.

The mutilated body of Zogo who was the Manging Director of Yaounde-based private radio station, Amplitude FM, was found on Sunday, five days after he was kidnapped as he tried to enter a police station to escape his attackers, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a media watchdog said.

“His body was found in a place called Ebogo 3 in the early hours of Sunday after he was tortured,” the RSF said in a statement on Monday.

According to the media watchdog, Zogo, who the presenter of a popular daily programme known as Embouteillage (Gridlock), had recently been exposing a case of alleged embezzlement involving a media outlet with government connections.

“The 51-year-old broadcaster regularly tackled cases of corruption, not hesitating to question important personalities by name,” it said.

“He was kidnapped by the unknown assailants on Tuesday, January 17, as he was about entering a police station after being chased by the kidnappers.

“The police in a Yaounde suburb heard a loud noise outside their police station and found Zogo’s badly damaged car at approximately 8pm on Tuesday.

“Police saw a black vehicle … driving off. They later came to realise this was an abduction,” the RSF said.

The Cameroon Journalists’ Trade Union which condemned the killing of Zogo in a statement described him as a victim of hatred and barbarism.

“Cameroonian media has just lost one of its members, a victim of hatred and barbarism.

“Where is the freedom of the press, freedom of opinion and freedom of expression in Cameroon when working in the media now entails a mortal risk?” the Union said in a statement.

Metro

Somali military tribunal jails wife of Islamic State leader eight years

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A Somali military tribunal has sentenced the wife of a leader of the Islamic State terrorist group to eight years in prison for “passing on information and organizing financial transactions for the group.”

According to a top Somali military official, the convict, Fartun Abdirashid, the wife of the head of the Daesh (IS) group in the country, Abdiqadir Mumin, was sentenced on Monday after she was found guilty by a military court in Mogadishu.

“Fartun Abdirashid has been under the custody since her arrest in March last year in Mogadishu. Her husband is Abdiqadir Mumin, who is the head of the Daesh group, a terrorist organization linked to the Islamic State,” the military official said.

The Somali public prosecutor’s office, said the suspect was accused of frequently transferring $100 to $200 to the group’s members, and also had a working relationship with Bilal Al-Sudaani, a senior Islamic State group official who was killed last Wednesday in a U.S. raid in the northern Bari region.

Mumin, who was a former al-Shabab cleric, had pledged his allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2015, and has led his group to hold a smaller but significant footprint in Somalia compared to the al-Shabab terrorist group that has carried out numerous attacks in the country.

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Metro

30 killed, 20 missing as tropical storm, Cheneso, sweep across Madagascar

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At least 30 people have been confirmed killed while 20 are missing following flooding and landslides caused by a tropical storm, Cheneso, which swept across Madagascar over the weekend.

The Madagascar National Office for Risk and Disaster Management, in a provisional assessment on Monday, said, the storm which made its first landfall in the northeast of the Indian Ocean island nation last Thursday, has so far impacted close to 89,000 people.

The Madagascan Meteorological Agency in a statement, said the storm, which has now passed across the country into the Mozambique Channel, saw winds gusting up to 170 kilometres per hour (105.63 miles per hour) and unleashed torrential rains.

The director of the Risk and Disaster office, Colonel Faly Aritiana, also said there had been house collapses and landslides in which people were trapped.

“People have been reacting generally in the right way, but some people have not been taking enough note of our warnings not to cross rivers in flood because the flow is much stronger than usual,” Aritiana said.

“The storm has damaged infrastructure, with many roads cut by rising waters, landslides and collapsed bridges,” he added.

Local media say nearly 33,000 people have had to leave their homes in the Boeny region, in the northwest of the island, while the prices of basic foodstuffs have skyrocketed.

“Prices of vegetables and rice increased a lot after the storm with the cost of tomatoes quadrupling. The merchants say it’s because the national road is cut,” it added.

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