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Ex-beauty queen accuses former Gambia president of rape1 min read

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Ex-beauty queen accuses former Gambia president of rape
Ex-beauty queen Fatou 'Toufah' Jallow(file photo)

A Gambian former beauty queen on Thursday accused former President Yahya Jammeh of raping her to punish her for rejecting his marriage proposal, in evidence to the country’s truth and reconciliation commission. 

“What he wanted to do was to teach me a lesson, what he wanted to do is manifest his ego,” Fatou Jallow said.

“There were words like ‘who do you think you are?’, that he is the president and that he gets any woman that he wants,” Jallow told Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC). 

Jammeh fled the country in January 2017 after losing presidential elections and initially refusing to step down.

He had come to power in a bloodless coup in July 1994 and was repeatedly re-elected in disputed circumstances until being defeated in December 2016 by the relatively unknown Adama Barrow.

After other West African states intervened, he fled into exile in the central African state of Equatorial Guinea.

The TRRC was set up to review abuses under Jammeh. 

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Nigerian forces release fire in the air to stop protest

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People demonstrate to demand the release of activist and opposition politician Omoyele Sowore(Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

Nigerian security forces used tear gas and fired in the air on Tuesday to disperse protesters seeking the release of an opposition figure held since August after calling for a revolution.

Omoyele Sowore, the founder of local news site Sahara Reporters and a candidate in February’s presidential polls has been detained for “treason.”

At the end of September, the Nigerian judiciary ordered his release but the authorities have not complied. 

About 80 protesters gathered outside the headquarters of the Department of State Services (DSS) in the capital Abuja, shouting slogans against President Muhammadu Buhari, a journalist said.

Nigerian forces release fire in the air to stop protest
(Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

Some 50 heavily armed DSS agents confronted the demonstrators on bikes and in armoured trucks firing tear gas and shooting in the air, the reporter said, adding that they also attacked one journalist. 

Some sustained injuries after being trampled by demonstrators fleeing the scene.

The government of Buhari — who was re-elected this year — has accused Sowore and his “Revolution Now” movement of “plotting to destabilise Nigeria.”

Sowore, who came tenth in the polls and has been a virulent critic of the government, has drawn the ire of Nigerian authorities.

In August, Sahara Reporters, which regularly reports on government corruption, had called for nationwide protests against misrule in Nigeria.  

Two days ahead of the planned protest, he was arrested on August 5 and has been in detention since.

Nigerian forces release fire in the air to stop protest
(Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

The government’s handling of his case has sparked criticism from rights activists and prominent Nigerians, including Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, as well as rights groups like Amnesty International.

Last week, according to local media reports, a spokesperson for the DSS admitted the agency had received a court order for Sowore’s release but said it was detaining him “because no person has turned up at the DSS to take delivery of him.”

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Politics

Guinea announces date for parliamentary elections

At least 16 civilians and a police officer have been killed in bloody clashes

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Guinea Bissau electoral commission president Pedro Sambu speaks at a polling station

Guinea’s electoral commission has announced a long-delayed parliamentary election will be held in February next year, with tensions high after deadly clashes during opposition protests.

The West African nation has been shaken by violence during weeks of demonstrations over opposition suspicions that President Alpha Conde is seeking to prolong his rule. 

The head of the country’s electoral commission, Amadou Salif Kebe, said in a statement on Saturday that a parliamentary election would go ahead on February 16, 2020. But uncertainty remained over whether the poll would go ahead on that date after previous delays and lingering concerns over the electoral roll.

In September the commission head had proposed the parliamentary vote be held on December 28, a date the opposition condemned as unrealistic and in the interest of Conde seeking a constitutionally-banned third term in office next year. 

The International Organisation of Francophonie, which is helping implement recommendations for auditing the electoral roll, said the December 28 date needed “to be reconsidered”. The current parliament started its five-year term in January 2014 and an election had been due in late 2018 or earlier this year.

But the vote was delayed after heated debates between the government and opposition. In January Conde extended the current parliament’s term indefinitely. The electoral commission said on Saturday it had unanimously approved the February date.

Commission head Salif Kebe said a review of the electoral roll had begun and the results were “very comforting”. Conde, 81, became Guinea’s first democratically-elected president in 2010, but critics say his rule has been marred by a growing crackdown on dissent.

The president, whose second term ends next year, launched constitutional consultations in September, saying the former French colony’s basic law “concentrates corporate interests” and needed reforms. The opposition, fearing the president will try to push through an amendment allowing him to seek a third term, took to the streets.

At least 16 civilians and a police officer have been killed in bloody clashes since the protests began in mid-October, according to the opposition, with dozens injured and arrested. Conde has neither confirmed nor denied his intention to seek a third term.

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Buhari celebrates nephew, long-time friend, Mamman Daura at 80

President Muhammadu Buhari has celebrated with his Nephew and long-time friend, Alhaji Mamman Daura, on his 80th birthday, congratulating him for many years of love and sacrifices for the nation, especially in his chosen career, journalism.

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Mamman Daura at 80

President Muhammadu Buhari has celebrated with his Nephew and long-time friend, Alhaji Mamman Daura, on his 80th birthday, congratulating him for many years of love and sacrifices for the nation, especially in his chosen career, journalism.

A statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja, Buhari joined all family members and friends of the veteran journalist in celebrating the milestone.

President Buhari recalled, with delight, Daura’s remarkable brilliance from childhood at the Katsina Middle School and Government College which caught the attention of Northern Regional Government.

According to him, this feat earned him sponsorship for further studies in the United Kingdom in the 50’s and many years to follow, noting that the knowledge had, over time, only translated into more wisdom.

Mamman Daura at 80

The President rejoiced with the renowned journalist and bibliophile, who worked with the civil service for a while before joining the New Nigerian newspapers, where he rose to be Editor and Managing Director, before venturing to the private sector as an entrepreneur.

He noted that Daura had inspired industrial growth in the north in furniture making, textile manufacturing, aluminum smelting, and other investments.

President Buhari assured Daura that his footprint on the development of the country, and quintessential attention to family values, would always be remembered and appreciated.

He also extolled him for the visionary role he played in the banking sector and management of companies and development institutions.

The President prayed that the almighty God will grant longer life to the elder statesman, and more strength to keep pursuing his number one passion of serving humanity, especially through philanthropy

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