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Tinubu to release IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu in 2024 – Presidency Source

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Several sources from the presidency have confirmed the relentless efforts of president Bola Ahmed Tinubu to justify the release of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to enhance peace in the South East geo-political zone.

The PAPERS gathered talks in advance level with some powerful caucus from South East zone to facilitate the release of the IPOB leader in the spirit of one Nigeria as promised by the president during the campaign.

The source further revealed that the release could happen soon as a surprise to the South East geo-political zone as the president is keen on fulfilling all his campaign promises while focusing on creating a better Nigeria before the next elections.

Meanwhile, Member representing Isuikwuato/ Umunneochi federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Amobi Ogah, has argued that the release of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is a prerequisite to a lasting peace in the South East geo-political zone.

The lawmaker who stated this while fielding questions from newsmen yesterday after distributing a truckload of rice, wrappers, and cash at his Onuaku Uturu country home, expressed optimism that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu would harken to appeals for political solution to Kanu’s incarceration.

He said National Assembly members from the South East were seriously worried about the adverse effects of Kanu’s continued detention on both the lives and economy of residents of the zone, and pleaded with President Tinubu to intervene.

Recall that the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization Ohanaeze Ndigbo, had also appealed to President Tinubu to release Kanu “as a Christmas gift to Ndigbo”.

Rep Ogah explained that the South East Development Commission Bill, when signed into law, would help arrest the causes of agitation and tension in the South East.

The lawmaker who also advocated amnesty for all those behind the unrest in the zone, appealed to the perpetrators to renounce violence and embrace peace for the good of all.

He said that the South East caucus at the National Assembly was resolute and united in securing freedom for Kanu and rebuilding the economy of the zone.

Ogah urged youths and stakeholders to support the forthcoming summit on the rejuvenation of South East economy slated for Abia State on December 28.

The Labour Party lawmaker who lamented the high cost of election litigation in Nigeria, saying that he spent over half a billion Naira in the petition against his victory by the Minister of State for Labour, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha.

” Election case in Nigeria is not cheap. To pay sound lawyers or get a sound SAN is expensive, and I spent over half a billion Naira during the election petition trials”.

He, however noted that despite the heavy spending, he still decided to distribute food items and cash to his constituents to help mitigate their plight in the face of the biting economic hardship.

Ogah who said the gesture had been his tradition for over ten years, gave out 501 bags of 50kg rice, over 1000 bags of 5kg rice, wrappers and cash to his constituents including widows, traditional rulers, religious organization, and security agencies.

He promised to sustain the gesture whether or not he was in power, while urging them not to give up but keep hope alive.

” I know that things are hard even in Abuja but I can’t stop identifying with you. Be encouraged, the hard times won’t remain for ever.

 

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3 million children at risk in Sudan as civil war engulfs – U.N

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The war between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces has killed 12,190 people, according to conservative estimates by the Armed Conflict Locations and Events Data project. It has displaced 5.4 million people inside the country, according to the UN, and sent over 1.3 million fleeing abroad.

Sudan’s raging civil war threatens the lives of almost 3 million children, the United Nations Children’s Fund said Thursday, as fighting imperils what had become a haven for hundreds of thousands of displaced people.

Fighting in the huge northeastern African nation has now reached Jazeera state, the country’s breadbasket with a population of 5.9 million people — half of whom are children, UNICEF said.

« This new wave of violence could leave children and families trapped between fighting lines or caught in the crossfire, with fatal consequences, » the organization’s executive director, Catherine Russell, said in a statement Thursday.

The latest about of violence broke out on April 15, as Sudan’s military and a powerful paramilitary force vied for power. Since then, heavy fighting has left hundreds of thousands of people facing the agonizing decision of whether to flee their homes or stay and risk injury or death in the violence. Cease-fires have failed to halt the power struggle and fueled the growing humanitarian crisis.

Civilians are often caught up in the crossfire as neighborhoods are divided between the armed forces, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces, led by Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo.

Some 9,000 people have been killed in the violence, according to the U.N., but local doctors groups and activists say the death toll is likely far higher.

Almost 300,000 people have fled Jazeera state, moving to the nearby Sennar state, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Wednesday.

 

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‘Nothing for me in Cameroon’: Waiting in Tunisia, one eye on Europe

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Having lost everything and everyone precious to him, Joseph tries to hold things together, waiting to leave Africa.

Joseph Afumbom is a big man who has faced unimaginable tragedy.

The conflict in Cameroon between Anglophone separatists and the government killed the 27-year-old’s mother, father and siblings. It also took his home in Bamenda in the country’s northwest.

“I was there when the war started. The war took everyone,” he said, “It was three years ago. My brothers and sisters are all gone.”

With his home and family destroyed and no jobs available, Joseph felt he had no option but to gather his fiancee, Esther, and their three-year-old daughter and travel the 5,000km (more than 3,000 miles) overland to the Mediterranean coast. They arrived in Algeria, where they considered crossing into Tunisia and from there to Europe.

However, both Joseph’s fiancee and daughter died in El Menia. “They are all gone because of the cold,” he says. “That was last month.”

“I’m just trying to act normal, you know,” he tells Al Jazeera. “See, I’m smoking. I’m whiling away my thinking, trying to act like a normal person, but I’m not.”

He paused, allowing his thoughts to drift back. “We had been together for years. My daughter was three. I called her ‘Little Joy’.”

Eventually, Joseph crossed into Tunisia, making his way to the coastal city of Sfax before travelling by shared taxis to the capital, Tunis. He didn’t eat for two days.

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“There is nothing left for me in Cameroon,” he says. “I will continue to Europe if I have the opportunity.”

This article is the third of a five-part series of portraits of refugees from different countries, with diverse backgrounds, bound by shared fears and hopes as they enter 2024. Read the first and second parts here.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

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Chad: Supreme court approves ‘yes’ referendum vote

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Chad’s Supreme Court definitively validated the results of the referendum for a new constitution organized by the military junta that has been in power for the past two and a half years, a key step intended to pave the way for elections in the country at the end of 2024.

According to the final results, the « yes » side won with 85.90% of the vote, while the « no » side won 14.10%, with a turnout of 62.8%, the president of the Supreme Court told a press conference.

For some members of the opposition and civil society, the result of this ballots a plebiscite resembles designed to pave the way for the election of the transitional president, General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno.

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the Bloc Fédéral, an opposition coalition which had called for the results to be annulled on the grounds of several irregularities in the voting process.

The opposition, which had widely called for a boycott, denounced, in the words of Max Kemkoye, president of the Groupe de concertation des actors politiques (GCAP), « a second coup d’état by Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno », in the face of results which, in his view, were not credible.

The new constitutional text is not very different from the one already in force, and still gives great power to the Head of State.

Mahamat Déby, 37, was proclaimed transitional president by the army on April 20, 2021, at the head of a junta of 15 generals, following the death of his father Idriss Déby Itno, who was killed by rebels on his way to the front. Idriss Déby Itno had ruled the country with an iron fist for over 30 years.

The young general immediately promised elections after an 18-month transition period, and made a commitment to the African Union not to run. Eighteen months later, his regime extended the transition by two years and authorized him to stand in the presidential elections scheduled for late 2024.

On the anniversary of the 18-month transition, October 20, 2022, between 100 and more than 300 young men and teenagers were shot dead in N’Djamena by police and military, according to the opposition and national and international NGOs.

They were demonstrating against the two-year extension of the presidential term.

More than a thousand were imprisoned before being pardoned, but dozens were tortured or disappeared, according to NGOs and the opposition.

 

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