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Zimbabwe Arrests Four For Trafficking Apes1 minute read

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Zimbabwean authorities have arrested four foreign nationals from three different countries for wildlife trafficking.

A spokesperson for the Zimbabwean Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZimParks), Tinashe Farawo, said two Congolese nationals, a Malawian and a Zambian were arrested during a routine border post check after they had entered the country with the apes in a truck.

They were found with over 26 great apes illegally removed from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The animals were being cared for by Zimbabwe officials until they could be returned to DRC, Farawo said.

DRC’s environment minister Claude Nyamugabo Bazibuhe confirmed the development.

He said: “The investigation continues… to identify exactly the specimens” seized in Zimbabwe “before considering their repatriation,” the minister said.

“All great apes (gorillas, bonobos and chimpanzees) and pangolins are fully protected.”

DRC, with its tropical rainforest, is one of the world’s last refuges for endangered great apes, such as eastern lowland gorillas and mountain gorillas.

DR Congo’s environment minister Claude Nyamugabo Bazibuhe also announced a large seizure of pangolin scales from the country’s northeast.

Bazibuhe said in a statement that 32 live chimpanzees were recently taken from the Haut-Katanga province in southeastern DRC, on the border with Zambia.

Traffickers used fake documents to take them out of DRC and were destined for South Africa, he said.

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#EndSARS: Hoodlums Set TVC, NPA HQ On Fire

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Suspected hoodlums on Wednesday set ablaze Television Continental (TVC), a television station allegedly owned by a stalwart of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) – Bola Tinubu – in the Ketu area of Lagos State.

The hoodlums also razed the headquarters of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) at Marina, Lagos.

The perpetrators were said to be angry over the Tuesday shootings of youths, who were protesting at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos, by armed security operatives.

No fewer than 12 people were said to have died in the shootings.

Consequent upon the attack the television station has gone off the air.

It was not clear at the time of this report whether anybody has been arrested in connection with the attack.

Meanwhile, hoodlums invaded the NPA premises, chased out the workers, and set the expansive building on fire.

NPA firefighters were said to have run for their dear lives when they were unable to arrest the inferno.

The fire touched over five floors of the nine-story building.

The hoodlums also attacked the NPA facility in Dockyard, Apapa, and carted away valuable items.

All vehicles on the premises were also set on fire by some unidentified hoodlums.

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#EndSARS: UN Calls For ‘Root And Branch’ Reform Of Nigeria’s Security Agencies

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The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, on Wednesday, strongly condemned the use of excessive and disproportionate force by Nigerian armed forces in Lagos on Tuesday evening. She called on the Nigerian authorities to take urgent steps to deal decisively with the underlying problem of persistent violations committed by the security forces, and make a far stronger effort to bring police and army personnel guilty of crimes against civilians to justice.

“While the number of casualties of yesterday’s shooting at the Lekki toll plaza in Lagos is still not clear, there is little doubt that this was a case of excessive use of force, resulting in unlawful killings with live ammunition, by Nigerian armed forces,” Bachelet said. “Reports that CCTV cameras and lighting were deliberately disabled prior to the shooting are even more disturbing as, if confirmed, they suggest this deplorable attack on peaceful protestors was premeditated, planned and coordinated.”

“Nigeria was already at boiling point before this shooting because of the revelations about years of unchecked violence, including alleged killings, rape, extortion and other violations, by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS),” the UN Human Rights Chief continued. “While the authorities have now dissolved SARS and announced a series of inquiries at both Federal and State levels, there have still been few if any charges levelled against its members despite abundant evidence against various members of the squad, as well as members of other security forces and the army.”

Many Nigerians appear not to trust the inquiries and other measures that have been announced by the authorities, and have continued to take to the streets in several cities to protest. “I appreciate that the Government has taken a number of measures to address the protestors’ demands,” Bachelet said. “However, the immediate creation of another elite police SWAT team to replace the SARS — without first addressing some of the root causes of police violence and putting in place sufficient safeguards to prevent future violations — has eroded the public’s trust even further. This latest terrible event in Lagos is like wantonly adding fuel to a fire that was already starting to rage out of control.”

Bachelet said the way to restore trust and bring back peace to the streets of Nigeria is for the authorities to take immediate concrete steps to show they are genuinely committed to tackling impunity, after years of inaction.

“There need to be immediate, independent, transparent and thorough investigations, not just into last night’s killings, but also into all the previous violations committed by security forces,” Bachelet said. “Those appointed to carry out such investigations must not only be independent and impartial but must be widely perceived as such. And, where sufficient evidence already exists to warrant charges, immediate suspension of officers – including senior officers — suspected of committing serious crimes, should take place long before the conclusion of such investigations.”

Bachelet also called for immediate investigations into reports of violent and provocative attacks on peaceful protestors by unidentified groups armed with cudgels, cutlasses, sticks or guns, in some cases apparently with the overt backing of police or other security forces.

“Nigerians, like everyone else, have a fundamental right to peaceful assembly and protest,” Bachelet said. “The Government has a responsibility to take positive measures to ensure the realization of this right, including deterring others who intend to prevent them from protesting peacefully. The world’s attention is now focused sharply on how Nigeria’s Government and security forces react over the coming days and weeks.”

The High Commissioner urged the authorities to grant reparations to the victims and to open extensive dialogue with youth leaders, students and other groups who have been prominent among the protestors.

“In a population with such a young median age, it is important to listen to the grievances of the younger generation and make an effort to address the multiple problems they face, which include — but are far from confined to — police brutality and violations.”

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#EndSARS: BRT Loses N100m In Six Days

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The Management of Primero Transport Services (PTS) Ltd., an operator of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Nigeria’s Lagos, has said it lost over N100 million in six days due to the #EndSARS protests.

Mr Mutiu Yekeen, the Head, Corporate Communications, PTS, made the disclosure in Lagos on Wednesday.

Yekeen said that the company made a lot of losses between Oct. 16 and Oct. 21.

He said that the management was not currently operating at any level because the protest in Ikorodu had been hard on its operations.

The spokesperson said that the BRT had not been operating since Friday, adding that, the state government had also declared curfew which means no transporter could operate from 4p.m on Tuesday.

“We are hoping something better will come out of the situation because, presently, the situation has impacted negatively on our business in terms of revenue generation.

“We have lost over N100 million in the last six days but we decided to stop operations to avoid damage to our vehicles and also for the safety of commuters as an organisation.

“We value our customers more importantly; that is why we stopped operation due to volatility of the state especially in Ikorodu.

“If you listen to the news this morning, you will discover that people cannot travel from Ikorodu to any part of Lagos,” he said.

Yekeen said the present situation in the country was having negative effect on its organisation while he prayed for peace in the country.

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