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Cameroonian Military Neutralize Four Rebels, Free Hostages in Separatist Camp Raid

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Cameroonian military forces freed four civilians, including two students, from a suspected rebel hideout in Cameroon’s English-speaking northwestern village, Ntanka.

According to the military, four rebels were killed, four others arrested, and huge consignments of weapons seized from the separatist rebels who are fighting to create an English-speaking state in French-speaking-majority Cameroon.

The troops, a dozen, reportedly attacked the separatists camp on Friday night. On Saturday, the troops handed over four hostages – two students, a job seeker and a businessman – freed during the raid to the military commanders fighting separatists in Cameroon’s English-speaking Northwest, Brigadier Generals Valere Nka and Ekongwesse Divine Nnoko.

The military said a civilian was injured during the raid and rushed to the hospital.

No troops were killed or wounded. Four fighters were killed, four arrested and an unknown number, including women, fled to the nearby bush, the military said.

One of the rescued students, identified simply as Jane, said was abducted on her way to school in Bamenda and tortured for a week.

“They [fighters] started asking us that are they [fighters] too big to go to school or why do we think we are going to school?” the 17-year-old was quoted by local media as saying.

“Those questions we could not answer. They were beating us using a cutlass. We were sleeping on the floor with no bed. Nothing. That is why we are dirty like this.”

Violence erupted in Cameroon’s western regions in 2016, when English-speaking teachers and lawyers protested what they said was the overbearing influence of the French language in the bilingual country. The military reacted with a crackdown and separatists took up weapons claiming to protect civilians.

The conflict has killed more than 3,000 people and displaced over 500,000 according to the United Nations.

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Zimbabwe Regains Food Self-Sufficiency After Two Decades

Devastating droughts in Zimbabwe in the past two years cut maize harvest to 900,000 tonnes in 2020, half its annual requirements.

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Due to higher than usual rainfall, Zimbabwe expects to harvest up to 2.8 million tonnes of maize this year, three times the output from 2020.

Presenting the state of preparedness for the 2020/21 harvesting period, Lands and Agriculture Minister, Anxious Masuka on Tuesday told Cabinet Ministers that a bumper harvest was expected following a season of good rains.

He said “An estimated national production of 2.5 to 2.8 million metric tonnes of maize and 360 000 metric tonnes of traditional grains has been based on the promising bumper harvest in 2021”

Zimbabwe endured devastating droughts in the past two years, which cut maize harvest to 900,000 tonnes in 2020, half its annual requirements. Recent rainfall has boosted the country’s dam volumes which will enable farmers to reap more this year, the ministry of information said in a post-cabinet statement.

A Zimbabwe farmer

“For planning purposes, an estimated national production of 2.5 to 2.8 million metric tonnes of maize…has been based on the promising bumper harvest in 2021,” the statement said.

Farmers were expected to deliver 1.8 million tonnes of maize to the state-owned grains company, which has the monopoly to buy maize in Zimbabwe. The economy is projected to rebound after last year’s recession brought on by the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and protracted droughts.

The government has set a producer price of 32,000 Zimbabwe dollars ($381) per tonne for white maize. 

Read also: https://newscentral.africa/zimbabwe-to-spend-133-million-on-maize-subsidies-after-drought/

Before now, Zimbabwe exported an estimated 400 000 metric tonnes of maize annually, which represents 6 percent of Africa’s total output.  

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Nigerian Army Denies Claim on Deserters

Military sources show three majors, two captains and seven lieutenants were among those declared wanted for fleeing the insurgents last month in Borno.

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The Nigerian Army has denied claims making the rounds in the media alleging that over 100 Nigerian troops were reported to have absconded after Boko Haram attacks on Marte and Dikwa.

Army Public Relations Director Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima stated that “the publication is false, unfounded and an attempt to malign the image and character of the Nigerian Army.”

He further explained that an error emerged from internal memo during a head count before soldiers who retreated rejoined their various units.

“…it is a routine that head count is conducted to determine the number of men and equipment holding aftermath of military offensive. Unfortunately, an internal correspondence that was originated by the formation was not properly done. It was later discovered that a good number of those affected rejoined their respective units and are currently part of the ongoing clearance operations.”

He reassures the general public and urged citizens to “disregard the story as the subversive intent of the promoters at dampening the morale and fighting efficiency of our troops.” 

Troops restored normalcy after fending off, neutralising and fighting to defend the Internally Displaced Persons Camp and United Nations Humanitarian Hub in Dikwa.  

Read also: https://newscentral.africa/nigeria-military-arrests-boko-harams-ieds-maker-in-north-east/

In another development, Bello Useni, a newly recruited soldier on his first posting with the Nigerian army school of armour in Bauchi, has committed. The army private shot himself in the stomach at his duty post, Obienu barracks in Bauchi State, North East Nigeria. There has been no explanation for the soldier’s action.

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Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury Agree to World Title Unification Bout

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Nigerian-born British boxer, Anthony Joshua has reached an agreement with WBC World Heavyweight Champion, Tyson Fury on a world title unification fight.

Both boxers have agreed to an all-British, mouthwatering pugilistic masterclass with the venue and date still to be decided.

Boxing show promoter, Bob Arum made the disclosure on Wednesday and said as far as he’s concerned there’s nothing stopping both fighters now to lay it all down.

Joshua holds three world titles – the WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles and faces Fury, usually dubbed the finest pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Both boxers have gone on sprees of verbal onslaughts with their fans calling for a fight for years now.

Fury said in the past that the pandemic and logistics were reasons for the delay but with both parties now coming to an agreement, a potential match of great global proportions may finally be happening.

A potential summer date has been slated with June and July being tipped. If the match goes ahead, it will be the first time an undisputed heavyweight champion of the world will emerge since Briton, Lennox Lewis achieved the feat 21 years ago.

Both boxers will get 50% from the match which is reportedly worth more than $300m.

Saudi Arabia has been tipped as potential venue for the match, with Eddie Hearn, AJ’s promoter pointing out that there are little details to be agreed like who appears on the poster first and who gets on the ring first for the bout.

Joshua knocked Bulgarian, Kubrat Pulev out in the 9th round in their December clash and has called for a match once for all with his compatriot, Fury.

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