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UN Demands Immediate, Unconditional Release of Abducted Nigerian Schoolboys

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UN demands an immediate’ and ‘unconditional’ of schoolboys abducted by suspected bandits at Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State, northern Nigeria on Dec. 11.

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in a statement, condemned the attack by suspected bandits.

Guterres, in a statement by UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric on Monday in New York, said the attack on the school and abduction of called no fewer than 300 male students “constitute a grave violation of human rights.”

The statement read: “The secretary-general strongly condemns the Dec. 11 attack on a secondary school in Katsina State, Nigeria and the reported abduction of hundreds of boys by suspected armed bandits.

“The secretary-general reiterates that attacks on schools and other educational facilities constitute a grave violation of human rights.”

The UN chief urged security agencies to arrest and bring those responsible for the heinous act to justice.

He reaffirmed the “solidarity and support” of the organisation to the Federal Government and Nigerians in their fight “against terror, violent extremism and organised crime”.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has also flayed the abduction and called for the boys’ immediate release.

In a statement, the agency said it is “deeply concerned about these acts of violence”, describing attacks on schools as a violation of children’s rights.

“UNICEF condemns in the strongest possible terms this brutal attack and calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all children and their return to their families,” UNICEF said.

UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Marie-Pierre Poirier, issued a separate statement expressing solidarity with the families of the students and their communities.

Poitier said that the violence was a “grim reminder” that abductions of children and widespread grave violations of children’s rights continue to take place in the northern part of Nigeria.

“Children should feel safe at home, in schools and in their playgrounds at all times.

“We stand with the families of the missing children and the community affected by this horrifying event,” she said.

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Central Africa Politics

DR Congo Replaces Jailed Chief of Staff with Guylain Nyembo

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President Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo has appointed Guylain Nyembo as the new Chief of Staff of the Head of State of DR Congo.

Nyembo, a graduate of Economics from a Belgian university, replaces Vital Kamerhe who is in jail. He was formerly the deputy chief of staff in charge of economics and finance.

With this appointment, Prof Kolongele Eberande, who was the acting chief of staff, goes back to being his deputy chief of staff in charge of legal and administrative matters.

This appointment is the first step in the restructuring of President Tshisekedi’s cabinet.

Recall that Kamerhe was imprisoned last Wednesday after hours of questioning at the Kinshasa Court of Appeal.

It was gathered that the estwhile chief of staff was heard in connection with a controversy over the construction of major structures promised by the new head of state in his agenda for the first 100 days.

At the end of the interrogation, Kamerhe was taken under good escort to the penitentiary centre located in the commune of Makala, south of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Aged 61, Vital Kamerhe is the former secretary-general of the People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD), the political formation of former President Joseph Kabila, retired. Between 2006 and 2009, Kamerhe held the post of President of the National Assembly of the DRC.

Appointed chief of staff to the new head of state Félix Tshisekedi, he had managed the 100-day program of Félix Tshisekedi, before the establishment of a government under the new regime.

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Central Africa Politics

C.A.R Counts on Russia’s Continued Support – President Touadera

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President Faustin Touadera of the Central African Republic (CAR) says the country continues to count on Russia’s assistance in major areas of cooperation, including security.

Touadera, who recently won re-election in the gold- and diamond-rich nation, was responding to questions on the rumoured planned withdrawal of Russian military instructors and defence equipment from the C.A.R.

Touadera remarked that he has so far not been officially informed of the situation and he does not think so.

“Knowing the situation, we, therefore, call on the Russian Federation to continue to support us in the field of security, and many others.”

Earlier this week, reports citing Russian diplomats claimed the European country was pulling its defence forces from the country. C.A.R was recently rocked by several targeted attacks on UN peacekeepers, including the latest ambush which occurred on Monday.

Touadera states that his cabinet would carry on with the previously started schemes for security and peace, as well as launch several infrastructure and energy projects, and enhance agriculture in his second term in office.

The C.A.R’s top court confirmed Touadera’s victory in the on Dec. 27 presidential election on Monday.

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Constitutional Court Confirms C.A.R President Touadera’s Re-election

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The Constitutional Court of the Central African Republic (CAR) on Monday confirmed the re-election of President Faustin-Archange Touadera.

CAR held its presidential elections on 27 December 2020. On January 4, authorities announced preliminary results of the vote, saying Touadera won 53.92 per cent but the opposition asked the Constitutional Court to cancel the ballot and order a re-run.

The opposition had cited “massive fraud’’, insecurity and low voter turnout as marring the elections.

However, on Monday, the constitutional court announced that Touadera won his second term with 53.16 per cent of the vote; Anicet Georges Dologuele had 22% of the vote, repeating his second-place finish in the 2016 election.

The poll was held under threats from armed groups, which formed a new alliance, known as the Coalition of Patriots for Change, and launched attacks in the provinces, vowing to “march on Bangui,’’ the capital.

The government accused former president Francois Bozize of instigating the unrest to attempt a coup.

Touadera, 63, first took the helm of affairs in the country in 2016 after a civil war that left thousands of dead and drove hundreds of thousands from their homes.

Two-thirds of the impoverished country is in the hands of armed groups, and Touadera relies on help from UN peacekeeping forces and military support from Russia and Rwanda.

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