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Press Review

Weekly Press Review : From Monday 23th to Friday 27th January, 2023

27 January 2023
Reading time: 22 minutes

Regional News

UPDATED: ‘Unidentified’ aircraft bombs several vigilantes in Niger State ( Source- Premiuimtimes.

Many vigilantes were reportedly killed in an air raid by a yet-to-be-identified aircraft in Galadima Kogo, a community in Shiroro Local Government Area, Niger State, on Tuesday.

Several members of the vigilante group, including its leader, were also injured in the bombing, locals said.

The vigilante members were bombed as they were preparing to counter an attack against terrorists who had earlier attacked their community.

A community leader told PREMIUM TIMES that during the attack, several villagers were kidnapped and several herds of cattle were rustled.

The community leader, who asked not to be named for security reasons, confirmed the incident over the phone.

Bomb kills 27 herders in central Nigeria: police ( Police.

A group of 27 herders have been reported killed and several others injured in what police called a bomb explosion in central Nigeria, a region known for ethnic and religious tensions.

The herders and their cattle were in Rukubi, a village on the border between Nasarawa and Benue states when a bomb exploded in their midst, according to authorities on Wednesday.

“We have established 27 people were killed in the bomb explosion along with several cattle,” said Maiyaki Muhammed Baba, Nasarawa’s police commissioner.

“Many other people were injured and the death toll could mount as searches are still going on,” Baba said, adding that police bomb experts were investigating the origin of the explosion.

But an umbrella group representing herders said the explosion resulted from a military strike.

Cameroon : Voluntary Repatriation Of 455 Nigerian Refugees – ( Source- Journalducameroun.

Settled in Cameroon (Far North region) since 2013, a second wave of refugees are returning to their country. This wave of repatriation was launched last Friday in Maroua.

A total of 455 Nigerian residents, including 211 men and 244 women, who were sheltering in the Minawao camp, a locality in the Mayo-Tsanaga division of the region, to escape the Boko Haram insurgency, will return to the Borno State (North East) of Nigeria under the supervision of Cameroonian and Nigerian authorities.

Before their departure, the 108 households in the convoy received various kits (mattresses, foodstuffs, and mats) offered by the Cameroonian government.

According to Xhinua, the governor of the Far North region, Midjiyawa Bakari, would accompany the convoy to the border, at Banki where the Nigerian authorities will take over.

11 Terrorists Killed, 6 Arrested- Nigerien Army. Source-Africanews. 11 terrorists killed, 6 arrested – Nigerien army | Africanews

Niger’s army on Tuesday (Jan. 24) said it had killed 11 “terrorists” and captured six last week in a restive region plagued by insurgents linked with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

Operations in the western Tillaberi region near Burkina Faso also saw weapons seized and more than 130 motorcycles destroyed, Niger’s defence ministry said in its weekly bulletin.

Tillaberi is in the vast and unstable “three borders” region between Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, where jihadist insurgents have carried out attacks for years.

The West African nation has launched offensive operations against jihadists in the area, recently with the backing of 250 soldiers from former colonial power France.

The anti-jihadist force Niya, which has been deployed in western Niger since February last year and has more than 2,000 personnel, suffered two injuries in the operations, the army said.

ICRC Encourages Ratification of Kampala Convention in Lake Chad Region- Source- HumAngle Media. ICRC Encourages Ratification Of Kampala Convention In Lake Chad Region – HumAngle Media

With her seven children, Fatima Mohammed, a displaced woman living in a host community in Maiduguri, Northeast Nigeria, built a shelter out of the remnants left after the Dalori Camp was shut down. The directive to shut down the camp and many others was issued last year by the governor of the state, Babagana Umara Zulum, as part of efforts to resettle all displaced people and refugees in the state.

“My children and I could not go back to Bama [a local government area in Borno State], and this is why we camped and constructed this tent here. We constructed the tent using the items left to us after our camp was closed. Five of us live under this single room, it gets extremely cold and severely hot depending on the weather, but that’s what we all have,” she told HumAngle in an interview.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has encouraged states in the Lake Chad region to ratify the Kampala Convention, which protects internally displaced persons like Fatima and her children and regulates the impact of armed conflict on civilian populations. The region has been devastated by over a decade of Boko Haram terrorism that led to a large humanitarian crisis affecting 11 million people.

Cameroon- NorthWest: Clashes Between Nigerian Herders, Separatists Causes 12 Deads. Source- Journalducameroun. Cameroon – NorthWest : Clashes between Nigerian Herders , Separatists causes 12 deads – (

In the crisis-ridden North-West region, the  Senior Divisional Officer, Abdoulaye Aliou, announced. The clashes began after two herdsmen were killed by separatist fighters, it was learnt.

The Nigerian herders frustrated by the killing of their two herdsmen went back to Nigeria and alerted the other herders, who arrived Gayama and carried out another serious raid,4 separatist was killed including 6 civilians.

The Senior Divisional officer says the government is working towards curbing insecurity in Menchum, as over 100 troops have been deployed to Gayama.

Farmer grazer problem is rocking this region. Separatists are asking for taxes from grazers’ Government has sent troops and the problem will be resolved.

Every year in the dry season, they (Nigerian herders, editor’s note) used to come. They came across the separatists who demanded taxes. When they refused, there were scuffles. In the end, the natives murdered two herders,’ the administrative authority said on state television. The reprisals organised in return by these herders resulted in the death of “four separatists” and six local farmers, including a village chief and his son, according to the same source.


Nigeria Confirms Diphtheria Outbreak, Monitors Situation in 4 States. Africanews. Nigeria confirms diphtheria outbreak, monitors situation in 4 states | Africanews

Nigeria’s health authorities confirmed a deadly outbreak of diftheria on Friday (Jan.20).

In Kano state, one of the worst-hit states in the country’s north, Dr. Aminu Tsanyawa the health commission for the state has recorded more than 70 suspected cases along with 25 deaths related to the bacterial infection.

The total number of confirmed cases and deaths is not yet known.

Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention revealed it initiated an emergency response to the outbreak and is monitoring the situation in four of the nation’s 36 states.

Authorities were first alerted about an outbreak among children in Kano state in late December, according to the state’s chief epidemiologist.

Missing Cameroun Journalists Martinez Zogo Found Dead. Source- Africanews. Missing Cameroon journalist Martinez Zogo found dead | Africanews

A popular Cameroon radio journalist who had been missing following what a media rights group called an abduction has been found dead, his employer and police said on Sunday.

Martinez Zogo was managing director of Yaounde-based private radio station Amplitude FM and the star host of a popular daily programme, Embouteillage (Gridlock).

On the air, the 51-year-old regularly tackled cases of corruption, not hesitating to question important personalities by name. He had been missing since Tuesday.

“I went to Ebogo (15 kilometres north of Yaounde) early this morning where I saw and recognised the body of Martinez Zogo. The prosecutor’s deputy was present and his wife was there to identify him,” Amplitude FM radio editor in chief Charly Tchouemou told AFP.

Burkina Faso: 66 Women, Children Freed from Extermists- Army. Source- Africanews. Burkina Faso: 66 women, children freed from extremists – Army | Africanews

Burkina Faso’s army has freed 66 women and children who were abducted earlier this month by Islamic extremists while gathering food in the country’s northern Sahel region, according to a state television report Friday (Jan.20).

National broadcaster RTB reported that armed forces had located the hostages during a military operation in Center-North region. The group included 39 children, with four infants among them.

Authorities have said they had been out in the countryside gathering wild fruit near the town of Arbinda in Soum province when Islamic extremists kidnapped them on Jan. 12 and 13.

Security sources said they were found in the Tougouri region, 200 kilometres (125 miles) further south. Helicopters flew them to Ouagadougou, where they were met by senior army officers.

Cameroon Denies Asking for Help to Mediate Separatist Conflict. Source- Al Jazeera

Cameroon’s government says it has not asked any country to mediate its conflict with Anglophone separatists, apparently denying a statement from Canada that it had been assigned to work on a peace process.

The Cameroonian government “has not entrusted any foreign country or external entity with any role of mediator or facilitator to settle the crisis,” it said in a statement on Monday that did not directly mention Canada.

Lacking Peacekeepers, MINUSMA Could Withdraw from Mali. Source- Africanews. Lacking peacekeepers, MINUSMA could withdraw from Mali | Africanews

UN peacekeeping mission in Mali is ‘not viable’ without increasing the number of peacekeepers, according to a draft UN report obtained by AFP, which mentions a possible withdrawal of troops if key conditions are not met.

MINUSMA was created in 2013 to help stabilize a state threatened with collapse under jihadist pressure, protect civilians, contribute to the peace effort, and defend human rights. .. But the security situation has continued to worsen.

“MINUSMA is a peacekeeping operation where there is no peace to keep”, summarizes the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in this document given to the members of the Security Council and which must be published shortly.

With the extension of its mandate in 2019 in the center of the country particularly affected by the violence, the mission, now deprived of the support of foreign operations, in particular from France which withdrew last August, “did its best “, but “was pushed beyond its limits,” he notes.

A situation has placed MINUSMA in a “delicate situation”, “unable to meet the expectations of the Malian population and certain regional actors” and thus subject to “persistent criticism”.

Cameroon Journalists Urge Investigation After Death of Colleague. Source- Africanews. Cameroon journalists urge investigation after death of colleague | Africanews

Journalists in Cameroon gathered on Monday (Jan.23) in Yaoundé to pay respect and demand justice for the killing of their colleague Martinez Zogo, whose was abducted last week and whose body was found this weekend near the capital.

Gathered among candles, flowers and banners demanding justice, friends and colleagues stood outside the radio station Amplitude FM, where Martinez Zogo worked.

Journalist Jean Bruno Tagne said during the event that he believed the killing was “a message that was sent to all independent journalists and to all those who think that this country can function differently.”

UN Report Shows Climate-Related Disasters as a Major Cause of Human Trafficking. Source- Africanews. UN report shows climate-related disasters as a major cause of human trafficking | Africanews

The multiplication of weather disasters, which pushes millions of people onto the roads, is now one of the “main causes” of human trafficking, according to a UN report published Tuesday (Jan. 24), also mentioning the risks posed by the war in Ukraine.

“Climate change increases vulnerability to trafficking,” the study by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said, based on data collection from 141 countries over the 2017-2020 period and analysis of 800 court cases.

Over time, “entire regions will become uninhabitable,” which “disproportionately affects” poor communities that live primarily on agriculture or fishing.

They find themselves “deprived of their livelihoods and forced to flee their communities”, becoming easy prey for traffickers, Fabrizio Sarrica, lead author of the text, explained to the press ahead of publication.

Demonstrators Demand France Withdrawal from Burkina Faso. Source- Africanews. Demonstrators demand France withdrawal from Burkina Faso | Africanews

Hundreds of people in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, marched to demand the departure of the French ambassador to the country.

The demonstration was called by the Pan-African Leaders Collective, a political group that includes organizations who support Captain Ibrahim Traore, in power since the end of September.

The participants want the withdrawal of the 400 French special forces stationed in the country.

”The French ambassador, we want him to go back, the soldiers in Kamboinsin, we all want them to go back. Let them free Burkina”, demanded demonstrator Abdoul Karim Sawadogo.

Another demonstrator, Souleymane Sawadogo, goes further.

Peace and Security

Some Warring Parties in Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis to Enter Peace Process- Canada. Source- Africanews. Some warring parties in Cameroon’s Anglophone crisis to enter peace process – Canada | Africanews

Canada will host talks “with a view to achieving a comprehensive, peaceful and political resolution” of the separatist conflict that has been plagued the English-speaking west of Cameroon for over six years.

Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, announced a peace process aimed at resolving the ongoing war in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon. It is the latest bid to resolve the war in Cameroon.

On a press statement dated Friday, January 20, the minister said some warring parties had agreed on forming “technical committees to begin work on confidence-building measures.”

The parties involved are “the Republic of Cameroon, the Ambazonia Governing Council and the Ambazonia Defence Force, the African People’s Liberation Movement and the Southern Cameroons Defence Force, the Interim Government, and the Ambazonia Coalition Team.”

Anti-Terrorism Conference Ends in Lomé. Source- Africanews. Anti-terrorism conference ends in Lomé | Africanews

The capital of Togo hosted a two-day conference dedicated to the fight against terrorism.

The meeting in Lomé was attended by more than 250 participants including presidents of national assemblies, representatives of African parliaments, youth NGOs and representatives from UN agencies.

The president of the Togolese National Assembly stressed the importance of collective response.

“The resurgence of violent acts linked to terrorism is a threat to the continent’s sustainable development efforts. Through this framework of exchanges, we will try to put in place a synergy of collective response to fight against terrorism with all the vigour and rigour of our determination to build a harmonious community of destiny”, said Yawa Djigbodi Tsegan, President of the Togolese National Assembly.

France Agrees to Withdraw Troops from Burkina Faso withing a Month. Source- Al Jazeera. France agrees to withdraw troops from Burkina Faso within a month | Armed Groups News | Al Jazeera

France will withdraw its troops from Burkina Faso within a month after the West African country’s military rulers asked it to leave, the French foreign ministry said, in a move that will further reduce its presence in a region facing growing violence from armed groups.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the French ministry said it had received notice the previous day that a 2018 agreement on the status of French troops in the country had been terminated.

Mali Gets More Warplanes, Helicopters from Russia. Source- Africanews. Mali gets more warplanes, helicopters from Russia | Africanews

Mali’s military rulers received more warplanes and helicopters from Russia Thursday, the latest in a series of deliveries from its new top military and political ally.

Eight planes and two helicopters were counted at a ceremony attended by Russian ambassador Igor Gromyko and the head of Mali’s junta, Colonel Assimi Goita.

Mali’s military said the shipment included Sukhoi Su-25 attack planes designed to support ground troops; and the Czech-designed Albatros L-39.

L-39s, while initially designed for training purposes, have also been used as attack aircraft.

Bamako also received Mi-8s, a Soviet-designed Russian transport helicopter that, as well as transporting troops and equipment, can be fitted with weapons to defend ground troops.

Burkina Fas’s Military Leader Demands French Departure. Source- Africanews. Burkina Faso’s military leader demands French departure | Africanews

Burkina Faso’s military government has ordered hundreds of French troops to leave the country within one month.

National broadcaster RTB made the announcement on Saturday (Jan.21), citing the official Agence d’Information du Burkina. The news agency said the decision had been made Wednesday (Jan.18) to end the presence of France’s military on Burkinabe soil.

The move comes five months after France completed its withdrawal from Mali after nine years fighting Islamist rebels alongside regional troops.

After the second coup there last year, anti-French protesters began urging the junta to instead strengthen ties with Russia. Mali has already hired Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group, who have been accused of widespread human rights abuses there and elsewhere.

US Bars Entry for Those Who ‘Undermine’ Nigeria’s Upcoming Polls. Source- Al Jazeera. US bars entry for those who ‘undermine’ Nigeria’s upcoming polls | Elections News | Al Jazeera

The United States has said it is restricting entry to people “believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria”, ahead of that country’s elections this year.

The announcement on Wednesday also extends to the families of those accused of anti-democratic efforts, according to the US Department of State. Nigeria’s February 25 elections will determine who will replace President Muhammadu Buhari, who has reached the country’s two-term limit after serving eight years in office.

Nigeria: A Bitter Campaign Before the Presidential Election. Source- Africanews. Nigeria: a bitter campaign before the presidential election | Africanews

“Parkinson’s disease”, “stingy”, “corrupt”: the two main presidential candidates in Nigeria deliver a bitter end to the campaign, each calling for the arrest of the other by resurrecting old corruption scandals.

Nigerian politics is plagued by accusations of all kinds, especially concerning dark money affairs. And the favourites for the presidential election on February 25 – Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar, both extremely wealthy septuagenarians, are no exception: they have been repeatedly accused of corruption, which they firmly deny.

More than 93 million Nigerians will be called to the polls to elect a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari, who is not running after two terms.

Africa’s most populous nation faces countless challenges, in particular near-widespread insecurity, a severe economic crisis, and spiralling inequalities. In recent weeks, as the campaign intensifies, insults and accusations have flared between the candidates.

Ivory Coast: 49 Soldiers Formerly Imposioned in Mali Decorated. Source- Africanews. Ivory Coast: 49 soldiers formerly imprisoned in Mali decorated | Africanews

Ivory Coast on Tuesday (Jan.24) handed out top awards for 49 soldiers whose detention by Mali triggered a bitter diplomatic spat between the two West African nations.

The troops had been arrested at Bamako airport in July.

Mali accused them of being mercenaries, while Ivory Coast and the United Nations said they were flown in to provide routine backup security for the German contingent of the UN peacekeeping mission.

On December 30, a Bamako court sentenced 46 soldiers to 20 years in prison, while three women soldiers who had been released received death sentences in absentia.

All 49 were pardoned by junta leader Assimi Goita on January 6.

Timeline from a Year of Political Turmoil in Burkina Faso in 2022. Source. Africanews. Timeline from a year of political turmoil in Burkina Faso in 2022 | Africanews

Burkina Faso authorities confirmed Monday (Jan. 23) that requested the departure of French troops based in Ouagadougou within a month.

The confirmation came a day after French President Emmanuel Macron requested “clarifications” in this latest episode of tensions between the two countries.

Here is a recap of the major political events that occurred in the Sahelian country since the first military coup in 2022.

On January 22, 2022, incidents broke out in Ouagadougou during demonstrations condemning the powerlessness of the authorities in the face of the jihadist insurgency that has ravaged the northern half of the country since 2015. The following day, soldiers mutinied to demand the departure of army leaders.

On January 24, 2022 officers announced that they had seized power and ousted President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba became the country’s new strongman.


EU Pledges 102.5m euros in Humanitarian Funding to Lake Chad region. Source- Journalducameroun. EU pledges €102.5m in humanitarian funding to Lake Chad region – (

The EU Commission has allocated €102.5 million in relief aid to help vulnerable communities in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, as the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate in the Lake Chad region. Violence in the region, where the civilian population is increasingly the victim of targeted attacks, is resulting in large-scale displacement, disruption of livelihoods and lack of access to basic services.

The pledge was made on the occasion of the High-Level Conference on the Lake Chad Region, held in Niamey on 23-24 January.

The total amount for 2023 will be distributed as follows: Nigeria (34 million), Niger (25 million), Chad (26.5 million) and Cameroon (€17 million).

The funding is part of the total €181.5 million allocated this year for the Lake Chad basin, the Central African Republic and the Sahel, as announced last week.

The EU’s humanitarian aid in the Lake Chad region is targeted to providing life-saving assistance to people displaced by conflict and hosting communities, responding to the most acute food needs of households and communities affected by conflict and treating severe acute undernutrition in children under 5 and giving access to healthcare to populations that are newly displaced or outside the reach of health authorities, and improving the access to safe water and sanitation.

It will also support emergency education for displaced children and those in hard-to-reach areas and strengthen disaster preparedness (e.g. early warning systems and climate resilience actions).

International Day of Education: The Emergencies Stifling Education. Source- Humangle. International Day Of Education: The Emergencies Stifling Education In Nigeria – HumAngle Media

“You cannot be at war and go to school. They can bomb the school at any time,” a child in Somalia said to the international humanitarian organisation, Save the Children, during its listening exercise conducted across 41 countries.

The international NGO said that just like the Somalian child, 222 million children of school age around the globe have had their education affected by crisis and are in need of “urgent education support.”

Save the Children spoke to 54,000 children as part of its listening exercise, and the children identified conflict and climate crises as factors hindering their education.

Stabilization and economic development

Cameroon: Sodecoton Strikes 26 Billion Agreement to Boost Cotton Production- Source- Journalducameroun. Cameroon : Sodecoton Strikes 26 billion Agreement to Boost Cotton Production – (

The financial situation of public enterprises and establishments just released by the Technical Commission for the rehabilitation of the said structures reveals that the Société de développement de coton du Cameroun (Sodecoton) is considering signing a non-sovereign financing agreement with the French Development Agency (AFD). The agreement is for a sum of 40 million euros, or more than 26 billion CFA francs. The money requested is intended to strengthen the company’s production capacity.

It will also be used to offset the company’s low gearing capacity. Specifically, Sodecoton intends to launch the modernisation of 9 of its factories in the North and Far North regions (Maroua 2; Tchatibali; Kaele; Guider; Garoua 3; Toubouro; Mayo Galke; Ngong). It also plans to start construction of a new ginning plant in Gouna.

Nigeria’s Buhari Inaugurates $1.5 Billion Deep Seaport to Boost Ailing Economy. Source- Africanews Nigeria’s Buhari inaugurates $1.5 billion deep seaport to boost ailing economy | Africanews

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has marked the opening of a $1.5 billion, Chinese-funded deep seaport in the commercial hub of Lagos that authorities hope will help grow the West African nation’s ailing economy.

The Lekki Deep Sea Port is one of the biggest in West Africa and will create hundreds of thousands of jobs in addition to easing cargo congestion that costs billions of dollars in annual revenue, Lagos Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said Monday (Jan. 23).

The port can handle at least 2.5 million 20-foot standard containers per year and will be operated as a joint venture between the Nigerian government, Singapore-based Tolaram Group and the Chinese state-owned China Harbor Engineering Company.

Both foreign companies own a majority stake of 75% in the project.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy but growth has been stalled for many years due to poor infrastructure and mismanagement.

Cameroon: Fuel Subsidy Drops from 700 Billion F to 350 F. Source Journalducameroun. Cameroon : Fuel Subsidy Drops From 700 Billion F To 350 Billion F – (

The 2023 finance law has provided an envelope of 350 billion FCFA for fuel subsidy (super, diesel, and kerosene) during the year 2023. This represents half of the nearly 700 billion FCFA devoted to this expenditure in 2022.

“The grants will continue. With less or more envelopes, the future will tell,” said Budget Director, Cyrille Edou Alo’o in an interview with Cameroon Business Today.

Concretely, the nearly 775 billion FCFA injected in 2022 by Cameroon in the subsidy of petroleum products, including domestic gas, is three times the estimated cost (250 billion FCFA) of the reconstruction of the country’s only refinery (Sonara ).

It must be said that this heavy subsidy is contested by the IMF. According to a press release from the institution published following consultations with the Cameroonian authorities conducted in the country, from June 15 to 29, 2022, gradual abolition of the said subsidies would contribute to a substantial strengthening of the mechanism for transferring funds intended for public investment.


Nigeria raises interest rate to 17.5% to check inflation – ( Source- Journalducameroun.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), which measures interest rate from 16.5 percent to 17.5 percent to check inflation in the country.The Governor of the CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, told journalists on Tuesday after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the apex bank in Abuja that the MPC raised the monetary policy rate by 100 basis point to 17.5% and kept the asymmetric corridor at +100/-700 basis points around the MPR.

He stated that the committee retained the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) by 32.5 percent, while the liquidity ratio is kept at 30 percent.

According to Emefiele, the members of the committee welcomed the recent deceleration of the year-on-year headline inflation and that the persistence in policy rate hike over the last few meetings of the committee have started to yield the expected decline in inflation.

“The MPC was of the view that although inflation rate moderated marginally in December, the economy remained confronted with the risk of high inflation with adverse consequences on the general standards of living.


About the author

Mamman Mahmood