President Muhammadu Buhari (76) has sworn for a second term to lead Nigeria, struggling with a sluggish economy, a growing threat of radical Islam insurgency, and expanding extreme poverty.
Buhari won 56% of votes in presidential election in February after promising to end conflict in the northeast, extend welfare programs and launch growth with infrastructure constructions. Creation of jobs and reduction of the extreme poverty (87 million) remain the most challenging tasks for the second Buhari’s mandate.
Fighting with the radical Islam militants of Boko Haram and other groups affiliated to Al-Qaida attempting to reconstruct Sokoto Caliphate, has been the ultimate challenge for Buhari since his first mandate. In spite of the considerable efforts, the insurgency did not show any sings of fatigue.
The violence in the northwest has forced 20,000 refugees to flee to neighboring Niger.
According to the UN latest report, Nigeria has overtaken India as the country with the most extreme poor people in the world. The struggle to lift more citizens out of extreme poverty is an indictment on successive Nigerian governments which have mismanaged the country’s vast oil riches through incompetence and corruption.
Four hostages have been rescued by the military in Burkina Faso, the Ministry of foreign affairs of France informed in a communique.
Two French, one American woman and one South Korean woman.
It is with profound sadness that the government informed about the death of two French soldiers were slain during the operation. Four kidnappers were also neutralized.
The French hostages had been kidnapped in neighboring Benin on 1 May.
The two soldiers who were killed during the rescue were named as Cédric de Pierrepont and Alain Bertoncello, described by officials as belonging to a special operations unit.
The French military posted photos of the soldiers on social media.
Burkina Faso has suffered more than 230 attacks in just over three years. In April more than 60 people died in ethnic clashes fueled by Islamic radicals attempting to gain control over Sahel.
Niger governmental troops have eliminated more than 280 Boko Haram militants in combat and in air strikes since an operation against the radical Islam group last week, the defence ministry said.
Boko Haram has intruded Niger, Chad and Cameroon from its base in northeast Nigeria, where it has been fighting for more than nine years to establish a religious Islamic state – Caliphate.
The defence ministry informed that the army mounted an intense operation against the militants in the end of 2018 along the Komadugu river, which separates Niger from Nigeria.
More than 200 militants were “neutralized” by air strikes and 87 were killed by Nigerien troops in combat it said.
Morocco arrested a Swiss-Spanish double national on December 29 in connection with the killing of two Scandinavian tourists (pictured above), the counter-terrorism agency confirmed.
The authorities said he also held Spanish nationality with residence in Morocco.
The suspect was arrested for “involvement in recruiting Moroccan and sub-Saharan nationals to carry out terrorist plots in Morocco against foreign targets and security forces in order to take hold of their service weapons”, the Central Bureau for Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) said.
Nineteen other men have been arrested in connection with the case, including four main suspects who had pledged allegiance to Islamic State in a video made three days before the tourists’ before killings of Scandinavian women.
However police and domestic intelligence spokesman Boubker Sabik this week described the four men as “lone wolves”, and said “the crime was not coordinated with Islamic State”.
Mutilated corpses of Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway were found by passing by tourists on December 17 near the village of Imlil in the Atlas Mountains.