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Niger Declares Three Days Of National Mourning

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Niger Republic has declared three days of national mourning after 100 civilians were killed in two villages in the Western part of the country.

Militants laid siege on the villages, shot sporadically at people and left the country in abject pain at what’s one of the worst attacks it has faced in recent time.

Niamey said an investigative panel has bee set to find the perpetrators of the dastardly act. More than 100 assailants attacked the villages on Saturday and killed scores after shooting indiscriminately.

The Nigerien government has strengthened its hold in the Northern border of the country where it connects Mali and Burkina Faso.

Militants believed to have carried out the attack are linked with the notorious terrorist organisations, al-Qaeda and Islamic State.

The country also shares a northeastern border with Nigeria’s North-East where insurgency is being battled more than a decade now, partly affecting the Chadian people.

Niger will have its Presidential run-off on the 21st of February but its weak security architecture has been criticised and brought under the radar.

Locals who survived the attacks are moving out of their homes, while neighbouring villages are also running for safety as they approach Ouallam, a town 50 miles away from the point of the attack.

The United Nations refugees agency has said many of these people are making the migration using their feet.

Niger is eyeing its first democratic transition in 60 years.

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Tunisians Protest over Viral Video of Police Officer Assaulting Shepherd

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Tunisians took to the streets in protests after a video showing a police officer assaulting a shepherd went viral online.

The video had shown the police officer scolding and pushing a shepherd whose sheep had entered the governerate headquarters in Siliana, Northern Tunisia.

After going viral online, violent protests broke out in no fewer than six Tunisian cities on Saturday night, including the capital Tunis and the coastal city of Sousse.

Security forces fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters who blocked roads and burnt tyres in Sousse, where young men also broke into shops.

Clashes were reported in the nearby city of Kalaa Kebira and in several areas of Tunis, including Ettadhamen, Mallassin and Fouchana and Sijoumi.

There were also night protests and riots in the northern towns of Kef, Bizerte and Siliana.

Activists said that it was unacceptable to harm the dignity of any citizen, a decade after Tunisians revolted against injustice and oppression.

The Public Prosecution office opened an investigation into the incident.

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Oil Spill Reported at Chevron Nigeria’s Facility in Bayelsa

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An oil leak has reportedly been spotted from the Funiwa oilfield operated by Chevron Nigeria (CNL).

The leak was reported on Sunday by fishermen, operating on the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean near Bayelsa State.

The fishermen, from Koluama in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa, raised the alarm in a chat with newsmen on Sunday in Yenagoa.

The fishermen, who operate on shallow waters near the ocean, said they noticed that crude was on the waters near the oil facility as helicopters were seen overflying the area.

Tombra Ebitimi, a fisherman from the coastal settlement, said that he observed the incident on Saturday night and subsequently reported the same to the community leadership.

He said that apart from helicopters sighted around the area possibly for assessment, meaningful response efforts had yet to begin.

“Some of us, who went on fishing, sailed into the oil-contaminated area near the Funiwa oilfield got our nets and fishing gear soaked with crude on Saturday.

But we noticed some helicopters hovering around the facility by today,’’ he said.

Ebitimi said it could be that community leaders have informed the company of the development, which made them deployed helicopters in the area.

He appealed to the company not to apply toxic chemicals from the sky to dissolve the crude oil, saying, “those chemicals are unfriendly to fishes and marine life generally’’.

He said that fishermen in the area had temporarily suspended fishing to avoid catching contaminated fishes that could jeopardise public health.

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Militia Kill 48, Injure 97 in Sudan

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No fewer than 48 people died in militia attacks on El-Geneina in West Dafur, Sudan.

A statement by Doctors Syndicate of West Darfur, on Sunday, said that 97 people were also injured, adding that the attacks began on Saturday.

The statement said that the medical personnel were making efforts to provide medical care to the wounded despite a shortage of supplies and nursing staff.

The Doctors Syndicate also appealed for armed transportation in order to transport medical personnel to government and private treatment institutions.

This recent attacks came weeks after UN peace-keepers began withdrawing from the region, where violence is increasing.

The Dafur Bar Association said the attacks were triggered when a member of the Masalit tribe stabbed a member of an Arab tribe.

“Armed militias took advantage of the incident and attacked El Geneina from all sides,” the association said, as well as the nearby Kreinding camp for internally displaced people, from where SUNA said there was now a wave of people moving towards the city.

The association accused the militias of looting and human rights abuses.

On Saturday, the governor of West Darfur declared a state of emergency, authorising the use of force in order to stabilise the situation and imposing a curfew.

While the military had begun to deploy, the bar association said the commander for the region had not responded to the state governor’s directives.

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