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15 killed in fresh violence in DR Congo

Fifteen people have been killed in a resurgence of violence in DR Congo's troubled Kasai region blamed on a suspected militia, a local leader said Tuesday.
"Kamwina Nsapu militiamen arrived in the administrative center of Lombelu (on Monday) and made a surprise attack on an army combat patrol," Andre Kapiola, Lombelu sector chief in Kasai Central, told AFP.

"We have collected the bodies of 14 militiamen," Kapiola said, adding that one soldier was also killed. However several Lombelu residents told AFP that about half of those killed in the attack would have been "ordinary citizens".

Violence in the vast Kasai region first erupted after a tribal chieftain known as the Kamwina Nsapu, who rebelled against the regime of President Joseph Kabila, was killed in August 2016.

Kapiola said the situation was "under control" but that the population of the village, which is 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the major regional town of Kananga, had fled into the bush.

"Many militiamen are scattered through the diamond mines," a local mining official told AFP, adding that the miners feared for their safety.
A local military source also blamed the Kamwina Nsapu militia for the attack, saying the group are "trying to reorganize" and "trying to steal weapons".

Joachim Likaka, administrator of the territory of Demba, said reinforcements had been sent to the area to counter any new attacks.
Kamwina Nsapu militia forces were suspected of killing nine people, as well as burning down a village hospital and some houses, on January 30.

The guerilla movement has been leading a bloody rebellion against moves by Kabila to extend his stay in power.
Violence in the diamond-rich Kasai region involving militias, the army and police has claimed more than 3,000 lives since September 2016, while the United Nations says 1.4 million people have been displaced.
(Source: AFP)

Nigeria admits missing girls have been ‘abducted’

More than 100 girls missing for a week after a Boko Haram attack on their school in northeast Nigeria have been kidnapped, the government says for the first time.

The authorities in Abuja had previously stopped short of saying the 110 girls were seized during the raid on the Government Girls Science and Technology College in Dapchi last Monday.

The attack has revived painful memories in Nigeria of the mass abduction of 276 girls from another boarding school in Chibok in April 2014. Nearly four years on, 112 are still being held.

President Muhammadu Buhari said his government was determined to ensure the release of everyone taken by the extremist militants and to bring "the abducted girls to their families."

"This is especially against the backdrop of the recent incident where another group of girls were abducted on January 19 from the Government Girls Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe state," Buhari told a reception in Abuja for former captives of militants.

Buhari added that he had ordered the country's security agencies to ensure the safety of schools and students.

Nigeria's reluctance to admit the kidnapping comes in part due to Chibok, whose shadow hung over the previous administration and many believe contributed to its election loss.

Buhari, a former military ruler, was elected in 2015 on a promise to end the Boko Haram insurgency, which since it started nine years ago has claimed at least 20,000 lives.

The abduction in Dapchi comes after repeated claims from the military and government that Boko Haram was on the verge of defeat.

It has led to questions about the extent of the government's grip on security and why promises to improve security of schools appear not to have been implemented, despite Chibok.

Boko Haram, whose name translates roughly from Hausa as "Western education is forbidden,” has used kidnapping as a weapon of war, seizing thousands of women and young girls as well as men and boys of fighting age.

(Source: AFP)

Kenya Imposes Ban On Logging For 90 Days

Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto on Saturday suspended logging in all forests in the country for the next three months as water levels in major rivers continue to drop at alarming levels. This move is part of efforts by the country’s government to respond to the drought that is sweeping the country.

Djibouti’s ruling party claims majority of parliamentary seats

Djibouti’s ruling party has claimed a landslide victory in parliamentary elections, securing almost 90 percent of seats after the opposition largely boycotted the poll.

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