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Leah Sharibu – 449 days and counting

She has become the face of resistance against murderous kidnappers and the only schoolgirl remaining in Boko Haram captivity

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Celebrating Leah Sharibu's 16th birthday in Abuja
Relatives of schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu abducted by Boko Haram Islamists hold banner to press for her release during an event to mark her 16th birthday and two years in captivity at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, on May 14, 2019. - Leah Sharibu was among over 100 schoolgirls abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School in Dapchi, northeast Nigeria on February 19, 2018. But while schoolmates had been freed, she was held back for refusing to denounce her religion. (Photo by KOLA SULAIMON / AFP)

Against the marauding miscreants who declared education sin, Leah Sharibu stood her grounds by refusing to denounce her Christian faith to accept Islam as directed by her extremist captors.

She has become the face of resistance against murderous kidnappers and the only schoolgirl remaining in Boko Haram captivity after the Dapchi kidnappings. 

Leah Sharibu became sixteen years on May 14!

Her relatives marked her 16th birthday with prayers and cutting of a cake at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, which has now become a rallying place for voices speaking up for social justice and civil rights against the Federal Government. 

In spite of the Army’s concerted effort to secure her release and the assurances of the Federal Government, her whereabouts remain largely unknown.

Leah Sharibu – stolen from her bed

Boko Haram terrorists stormed the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi –North East of Yobe State and carted away 110 school girls on the 19th of February 2018.

Leah Sharibu - 449 days and counting

After negotiating with terrorists, the Nigerian government announced the release of all but one of the kidnapped school girls.

She has been in Boko Haram captivity for 449 days and all attempts to have her released have failed on the account of her faith.

As charity groups, social media influencers, clerics and dozens of Civil liberties activists raise awareness online and in their march at the Unity Fountains in Abuja’s Central District, we must press harder for her release.

Boko Haram’s terrorist credentials and its politico-religious worldview are antithetical to Islam’s doctrines. Muslim religious leaders as well as their Christian counterparts must join hands in the campaign against this deadly sect.

It is imperative that as President Muhammadu Buhari resumes his second term, he intensifies efforts to bring a closure to the national emotional sore that has continued to dog us all and have Miss Leah reunited with her family.

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Two UN personnel killed in Benghazi by car bomb

Two members of the UN mission were killed and at least eight others wounded including a child, by a car bomb.

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Two UN personnel killed in Benghazi by car bomb
Libyan firefighters extinguish a fire at the site of a car bomb attack in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi on August 10, 2019. - "Two members of the UN mission, one them a foreigner, were killed and at least eight others wounded including a child, by a car bomb" in a shopping area of the Al-Hawari district, the official said. (Photo by - / AFP)

A car bombing in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi killed two United Nations staff on Saturday, a security official said.

“Two members of the UN mission were killed and at least eight others wounded including a child, by a car bomb” in a shopping area of the Al-Hawari district, the official said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which happened as a UN convoy was passing through the area.

Benghazi, Libya’s second city and the cradle of the 2011 uprising that overthrew dictator Muammar Gaddafi, was hit by years of violence targeting diplomatic offices and security forces after his fall.

An attack on the US consulate on September 11, 2012, killed US ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

In 2017, military strongman Khalifa Haftar drove hardline Islamists and jihadists out of Benghazi after a three-year battle.

Haftar, who backs an eastern-based administration that opposes the Tripoli-based unity government, went on to seize Derna, the last city in eastern Libya outside his control.

But bombings and kidnappings have continued.

A May 2018 attack left seven people dead and last month, a car bombing at the funeral of an ex-army commander killed at least four people and wounded more than 30 others.

A Libyan lawmaker is also feared to have been abducted by an armed group in the eastern city, the UN and lawmakers said in July.

Haftar controls most of eastern Libya, and early this year he ordered his self-styled Libyan National Army to purge the south of what he called “terrorist groups and criminals”. 

On the heels of that campaign, his LNA launched in April an offensive to take the Libyan capital from the UN-recognised Government of National Accord. 

The LNA on Saturday announced a truce around Tripoli for the three-day Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha, after the unity government conditionally accepted a ceasefire called for by the UN.

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Central Africa News

76 people survive shipwreck in DR Congo

The motorised boat was carrying around 100 passengers when it capsized on the lake, near the eastern city of Bukavu.

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DR Congo boat accident claims 11 lives, dozens missing

76 people have survived a shipwreck on Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a regional official said Saturday. However, more than a dozen people are feared to have drowned in the same incident.

The motorised boat was carrying around 100 passengers when it capsized on the lake, near the eastern city of Bukavu. 

“We have already registered 76 survivors,” said Swedi Basila, the regional transport minister for South Kivu province, adding that up to 20 people were still missing.

“No body has been found until now,” he told AFP.

The vessel had been on its way to the island of Idjwi when it hit a large rock and capsized, Basila said.

River transport is one of the most used in DR Congo with its numerous waterways. Boat mishaps are common, typically caused by overloading of passengers and cargo.

Tolls are often high because there are no life jackets and many Congolese do not know how to swim.

In April, at least 167 people were killed in two accidents, prompting President Felix Tshisekedi to make it mandatory for boat passengers to have life jackets. 

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EFCC charge Atiku Abubakar’s lawyer with corruption

Legal advisor Uyi Giwa Osagie is accused of handling $2 million without going through a “financial institution”

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Former Nigerian Vice President, Atiku Abubakar

Nigerian anti-corruption investigators have charged the lawyer of defeated presidential challenger Atiku Abubakar with money laundering, an official said Friday.

Legal advisor Uyi Giwa Osagie is accused of handling $2 million without going through a “financial institution”, a lawyer for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) told AFP.

Election runner-up Abubakar has launched a legal challenge against the result of the fiercely contested poll in February that saw him lose out to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari. 

Several people close to the defeated candidate have been targeted by the anti-graft agency since the vote, in what Abubakar’s supporters have described as a witch hunt. 

Osagie was first detained in February after his house was raided in Lagos but released from custody several weeks later. 

Boladale Adekoya, a spokesman for Abubakar’s campaign accused anti-corruption investigators of being “more dedicated to partisanship than rule of law”.

“They are clearly acting on behalf of a higher authority,” he told AFP. 

Abubakar’s son-in-law was also detained in the wake of the election as part of a money-laundering probe but has yet to face charges.

Buhari swept to power in 2015 on a pledge to fight the rampant graft in Nigeria — but critics accused the former military ruler of using the crackdown to go after his opponents during his first term. 

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