OTTAWA, Canada, January 12, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement regarding reports that Boko Haram had razed at least 16 towns and villages in northern Nigeria, resulting in hundreds of deaths and the displacement of thousands of people:
“This ongoing brutality against civilians is despicable.
“I am appalled by these reports of entire towns burnt to the ground and the violent slaughter of entire communities.
“On the eve of the upcoming election, terrorists continue to indiscriminately kill thousands in relentless attacks on churches and mosques, schools, police stations, and military and government buildings.
“We strongly urge the Government of Nigeria to increase efforts to fight these horrific attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice.
“Canada, in solidarity with the international community, will continue to support the people of Nigeria.”
Source:: Baird Condemns Brutal Destruction of Nigerian Villages
Suggested Book: The Hunt for Boko Haram: Investigating the terror tearing Nigeria apart
Botswana is in Southern Africa and is to the north of South Africa.
Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name upon independence in 1966. Four decades of uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, and significant capital investment have created one of the most dynamic economies in Africa. Mineral extraction, principally diamond mining, dominates economic activity, though tourism is a growing sector due to the country’s conservation practices and extensive nature preserves. Botswana has one of the world’s highest known rates of HIV/AIDS infection, but also one of Africa’s most progressive and comprehensive programs for dealing with the disease. (CIA World FactBook)
The area was once part of Lake Makgadikgadi, an ancient lake that dried up some 10,000 years ago. Today, the Okavango River has no outlet to the sea. Instead, it empties onto the sands of the Kalahari Desert, irrigating 15,000 km² of the desert. Each year some 11 cubic kilometres of water reach the delta. Some of this water reaches further south to create Lake Ngami. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okavango_Delta
Burkina Faso is in western Africa north of Ghana. It shares borders with Benin (306 km), Cote d’Ivoire (584 km), Ghana (549 km), Mali (1,000 km), Niger (628 km) and Togo (126 km).
Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) achieved independence from France in 1960. Repeated military coups during the 1970s and 1980s were followed by multiparty elections in the early 1990s. Current President Blaise COMPAORE came to power in a 1987 military coup and has won every election since then. Its high population density and limited natural resources result in poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens. Recent unrest in Cote d’Ivoire and northern Ghana has hindered the ability of several hundred thousand seasonal Burkinabe farm workers to find employment in neighboring countries. In January 2008, it assumed a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2008-09 term. (CIA World FactBook)
Suggested Book: Wood Never Becomes a Crocodile; Baby Chick Never Consults the Sparrow-Hawk: Proverbs & Tales from Burkina Faso by Luc Zio
Pictures from Burundi
Burundi is in central Africa east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Burundi’s first democratically elected president was assassinated in October 1993 after only 100 days in office, triggering widespread ethnic violence between Hutu and Tutsi factions. More than 200,000 Burundians perished during the conflict that spanned almost a dozen years. Hundreds of thousands of Burundians were internally displaced or became refugees in neighboring countries. An internationally brokered power-sharing agreement between the Tutsi-dominated government and the Hutu rebels in 2003 paved the way for a transition process that led to an integrated defense force, established a new constitution in 2005, and elected a majority Hutu government in 2005. The new government, led by President Pierre NKURUNZIZA, signed a South African brokered ceasefire with the country’s last rebel group in September of 2006 but still faces many challenges. (CIA World FactBook)
Suggested Book: Life After Violence: A People’s Story of Burundi (African Arguments)
PARIS, France, January 9, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — France condemns the terrorist attacks perpetrated on January 8 in the town of Baga and the surrounding villages, in northeastern Nigeria. Many displaced persons and refugees have fled the area, and according to press reports, there are numerous casualties.
The perpetrators of these heinous attacks must be held accountable.
Together with its African and international partners, France stands resolutely alongside Nigeria in the fight against terrorism.
Source:: Nigeria – Attacks against the town of Baga and the surrounding villages (January 8, 2015)
PARIS, France, January 9, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — France congratulates Modibo Keita on his appointment as prime minister of the Republic of Mali.
It wishes him every success.
Suggested Book : Understanding Mali: Connections and Confrontations between the Tuareg, Islamist Rebels, and the Government
France encourages Mr. Modibo Keita, who served as high representative of the head of state for inclusive inter-Malian dialogue, to continue the efforts to promote peace and reconciliation.
Source:: Mali – Appointment of Modibo Keita as prime minister (January 8, 2015)