French Abduction: French family abducted in Cameroon shown in video

The Family was shown in video on YouTube by Boko Haram

The Family was shown in video on YouTube by Boko Haram

 

A video posted on YouTube appears to show seven members of a French family, including four children, who were abducted by militants in northern Cameroon with the Nigeria border last week.

The video showed an armed man reading a statement in front of two men, a woman and four children from in a very small space with Arabic inscriptions on the wall.

The reader claimed to be from the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram and demanded the release of prisoners in Cameroon and Nigeria from the statement he read.

The family was abducted last Tuesday by gunmen on motorbikes in northern Cameroon on the Nigerian border when they were returning from a tourist visit from the Waza National Park.

Following the abduction, the French government said it believed the couple, their children aged five, eight, ten, and twelve together with their uncle were taken across the border into Nigeria, probably by Boko Haram.

On Thursday, France confirmed it had received information that the group Boko Haram is claiming to be holding the French family but did not give further details.

“These images are terribly shocking and display cruelty without limits,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in a statement.

In the video, one of the male hostages said they had been kidnapped by Jamaatu Ahlis Sunna Liddaawati wal-Jihad – the Arabic name for Boko Haram. Meanwhile, French nationals have been urged to leave northern Cameroon as quickly as possible.

The French foreign ministry said on its website that its citizens were officially advised not to go to the far north of Cameroon (the shores of Lake Chad in the South Maroua), and the border with Nigeria, until further notice.

Boko Haram has staged many attacks across northern Nigeria in recent years, targeting churches, government buildings, the security forces and civilians.

One of the alleged abductor warned that France had launched a war on Islam by intervening in Mali to fight Islamist Fighters who want to capture Mali and make it an Islamic State.

It is unclear what the French government will do next to rescue the hostages but President Hollande said last week that France will do everything possible to rescue the hostages.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

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South Africa: Donkey meat sold as beef to people strangely

Donkey other animals meat are fraudulently sold as beef to consumers in South Africa

Donkey and other animals meat are fraudulently sold as beef to consumers in South Africa

 

A research carried out in the Republic of South Africa has revealed that donkey, water buffalo and goat meat have been sold as burgers and sausages in the country strangely to people.

A study published by the local Stellenbosch University found that 99 of 139 samples contained species not declared in the product label that was sold on the market to consumers.

It found that soya and gluten were not labeled in 28% of products tested, undeclared pork in 37% and chicken in 23% in total.

The Stellenbosch University said it had sufficient evidence to prove that there is a massive fraud in the meat on the market which is sold to consumers and government must act quickly to stop it.

“There’s a fair share of fraudulent meat products on the South African market, according to a new study by meat scientists from Stellenbosch University,” the university reports on its website.

“The study found that anything from soya, donkey, goat and water buffalo were to be found in up to 68% of the 139 minced meats, burger patties, deli meats, sausages and dried meats that were tested, in other cases, even undeclared plant matter was detected.”

The researchers who were involved on the field work also expressed their shock about how meat products are fraudulently labeled for sale as beef which were not.

“Our study confirms that the mislabeling of processed meats is commonplace in South Africa and not only violates food labeling regulations, but also poses economic, religious, ethical and health impacts,” one of the researchers, Louw Hoffman, is quoted as saying by the local press.

“Our findings raise significant concern on the functioning of the meat supply chain in South Africa, even though we have local regulations that protect consumers from being sold falsely described or inferior foodstuffs, we need these measures to be appropriately enforced”, Mr. Hoffman added.

The study was done by experts from the Stellenbosch University’s Department of Animal Sciences and the Food & Allergy Consulting & Testing Services in Milnerton, Cape Town.

The disclosure comes at a time of a growing scandal in Europe about horsemeat being sold as beef to consumers on the market.

On Monday, Swedish company Ikea withdrew meatballs from sale in 14 European countries after tests in the Czech Republic found traces of horsemeat in a batch made in Sweden.

Leading supermarkets in the UK meanwhile, have withdrawn beef products from shelves after they were found to contain horsemeat.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

 

 

Oscar Pistorius sponsors still committed to him Despite Murder Charge

Oscar Pistorius sponsors still committed to him

Oscar Pistorius sponsors say they are still committed to him

South African Olympian and Paralympics gold winner Oscar Pistorius, continues to enjoy backing from his sponsors despite facing charges for premeditated murder of model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Sports giant Nike and TB are the main sponsor of the athlete but have all expressed strong backing for him since the incident happened.

Mr. Peet Van Zyl, a member of Oscar Pistorius’ management confirmed to reporter in Pretoria in an official statement that partners and sponsors of the South African athlete are supportive and their contractual commitments are maintained.

“They have said they are happy to let the legal process takes its course before making any change in their position,” he said.

Popularly called ‘Blade Runner,’ Pistorius made world headlines at the 2012 London Olympics when he in an unprecedented form, competed against sprint athletes with his amputated legs aided by artificial support.

Though he didn’t clinch any medal, he went on to win gold at the 100, 200 and 400-metre events, and breaking the world record over 200 metres, at the London Paralympics.

The performance earned him a Nike ad campaign with the slogan – “I’m the bullet in the chamber” which the American sports giant has pulled the plug on given the awkward resemblance between the ‘bullet’ and the shooting scandal.

Nike Emerging Markets Marketing Director Arturo Nunez also added his voice to diffuse those rumors that Pistorius will be loosing his sponsors.

“Nike routinely works with the best athletes in the world, and Oscar Pistorius stands out on that list and we are committed to ensuring that we stand by him in this difficult moment,” Mr. Nunez said.

He has covered the New York Times magazine and men’s lifestyle mag GQ South Africa, has endorsed brands such as MNet, and fashion house Thierry Mugler. His deal with Nike is said to be worth $2 million.

December last year, he told Sunday Times that he bought himself a $396,000 McLaren supercar as a Christmas gift for a successful year.

He now faces danger of being charged with premeditated murder for shooting his girl friend but he said he mistook her for an intruder and shot her.

Family of Ms Steenkamp has spoken of its grief in a newspaper interview published on Monday.

 

Speaking to the Times of South Africa, her mother June Steenkamp said: “All we want are answers… answers as to why this had to happen, why our beautiful daughter had to die like this.”

Meanwhile, Oscar Pistorius is due back in court in Pretoria today for a bail application hearing that may reveal further details of the murder case against him.

Many analysts believe prosecutors will pursue a charge of premeditated murder against him today in court and is likely that he might deny the charge.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

 

 

 

 

Nigeria: Seven foreign workers abducted in Bauchi state

Seven foreign workers abducted in Bauchi state in Nigeria

Seven foreign workers have been abducted in Bauchi state in Nigeria

 

Officials of the Bauchi State Police say seven foreign workers have been seized and a security guard shot dead by unknown gunmen who attacked a construction company site in northern Nigeria over the weekend.

Those nationals abducted include Italian, Filipino, Greek and Lebanese but there was a rumor of a Briton being included but the UK High Commission in Nigeria could not confirm or deny the rumor.

The UK foreign office spokesman said it was investigating reports of the Briton being included in the abduction so as to be able to act swiftly.

The attack happened in Jama’are, a town in Bauchi state where the gunmen first attacked a local prison, burning two police trucks, Bauchi state police spokesman Hassan Muhammed told reporters.

The gunmen then targeted a workers camp for Lebanese construction company Setraco, which is constructing a road in the area and shot dead a guard at the camp before abducting the foreign workers.

“The gunmen came with explosives, which they used to break some areas, and had wanted to cause more damage,’’ Mr. Muhammed said.

Italian news agency ANSA later said authorities confirmed an Italian had been abducted in Nigeria. It quoted Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi as saying the safety of the hostage must be given absolute priority.

Greece confirmed one of its citizens was abducted. A statement from Greece’s foreign ministry said authorities had a plane on standby to send investigators to Nigeria and that its foreign minister had been in contact with Terzi in Italy to know how to react to the incident.

“Two Greek police officers, liaisons in Greece’s Nigerian Embassy, are in contact with their colleagues of the countries involved and the Nigerian authorities,” the statement said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the abductions, though Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north has been under attack by the radical Islamic sect known as Boko Haram and many in Nigeria suspect they might be behind this abduction.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

Mali Conflict: French soldier killed in northern Mali as seven French tourists abducted in the Cameroon border with Nigeria

French Soldier was killed in northern Mali

French Soldier was killed in northern Mali

 

 

The French President Francois Hollande has confirmed to reporters that a French soldier has been killed by Islamist Fighters in northern Mali in a cross fire on Tuesday.

An official statement from the French defence ministry also added that More than 20 militants also died in the cross fire in the mountainous northern region in the desert.

“There was a serious clash with many dead on the terrorist side but also one death on the French side,” Mr. Hollande said in a broadcast on Radio France International Africa Service.

He said the soldier from the French Foreign Legion was killed as Special Forces hunted militants hiding in the Ifoghas Massif – a remote mountain region in the Sahara.

President Hollande also stressed that the French troops are in their last phase of operation which may suggest that France will withdraw from Mali immediately as it requested to the United Nations last two weeks to take over the mission in Mali.

“The continuing mission was aimed at capturing the last terrorist groups and leaders, we are now in the last phase of the operation in Mali and hope to withdraw soon’’, Mr. Hollande added.

This is France’s second fatality in Mali since it began its military intervention there last month alongside Malian and African Union troops.

French troops backed by helicopters and planes have helped restore government control of northern Mali, killing hundreds of suspected militants according to the BBC African Service.

France intervened in Mali just over a month ago to stop Islamist militants who had taken control of northern Mali from advancing on the capital, Bamako.

French forces helped government troops recapture the main north cities and towns, and thousands of soldiers from African countries have also been deployed.

The only casualty France had recorded already was a helicopter pilot who was killed on the first day of France’s military intervention on 11 January, 2013 bringing the casualties now to two deaths.

Seven French Tourists abducted in Cameroon

In another related development in Cameroon, seven French tourists, four of them children, have been abducted in Cameroon and taken across the border into Nigeria.

President Hollande said the seven were a family and the French embassy in the Cameroonian capital, Yaoundé, said that there were two girls and two boys in the abductees.

The abductors were on motorbikes, the embassy said, when they grabbed the family in Dandanga, near the Nigerian border.

The abductors then took them across the border into Nigeria and suspicious has been cast at the Islamist Militants Boko Haram of being behind but no group has claimed responsibility for now.

They visited the Waza nature reserve on Monday and slept in a camp there overnight before leaving Tuesday morning, local reporters in the area reported.

But President Hollande said they are working very hard to make sure that the tourists are freed or rescued but did not give further details on how is going to be carried out.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

Ivory Coast: Ex-President Laurent Gbagbo at ICC for hearing

Ex-President Laurent Gbagbo has been charged with crime against Humanity

Ex-President Laurent Gbagbo has been charged with crime against Humanity

 

The Ivorian ex-President Laurent Gbagbo has appeared at the International Criminal Court ICC to hear whether he could be tried on charges of crimes against humanity in the post election violence blamed on him in Ivory Coast.

Mr. Gbagbo faces four charges, including murder and rape, in the wake of Ivory Coast’s disputed presidential election in which he refused to step down in 2010.

Some 3,000 people were killed in violence after Mr. Gbagbo refused to accept defeat in the polls but he has vehemently insisted that he is innocent in the violence.

The trial saw presiding judge, Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi open the confirmation of charges hearing, which will decide whether there is enough evidence to try Mr. Gbagbo.

But the judge stressed that the hearing would not be ruling whether the former president was guilty or innocent.

Mr. Gbagbo’s defence lawyers argued that he was already under investigation in his own country and that the authorities there must be the right people to try him and not the ICC in The Hague.

Mr. Gbagbo, a former history professor, sat silently in the courtroom listening to the proceedings and made no comments throughout the proceedings.

Meanwhile, outside the court room, some 300 supporters of Mr. Gbagbo held a rally, demanding his immediate release saying he is being persecuted by Neo-Colonialist and imperialism.

The charges against him relate to the violence after the 2010 election when he refused to accept defeat to current Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara.

Mr. Gbagbo was then arrested in Ivory Coast by what many Africans believe to be French troops in April 2011 and later extradited to The Hague.

Many African advocates have accused former colonial power France of plotting to topple Mr. Gbagbo from power in the world’s biggest cocoa producer.

Mr. Gbagbo is the first former head of state to go on trial there, although Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia and Liberia’s Charles Taylor were tried by special courts in The Hague.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

Strange News: Ivory Coast man sets himself ablaze over deportation at Rome airport

Ivory Coast man sets himself ablaze over deportation at Rome airport

Ivory Coast man sets himself ablaze over deportation at Rome airport

An Ivorian man about to be deported from Italy has set himself ablaze at the Fiumicino airport in the Italian capital, Rome, according to local reporters in Italy.

A customs official managed to extinguish the flames, but the young man is believed to be badly burnt which can leave serious scare on him forever.

The airport officials said the man had not passed through security check point and was in the main international departure terminal at the time of the incident.

Illegal immigrants especially from Sub-Saharan Africa enter Italy and Europe via the Mediterranean Sea in boats and it is expected the man is not an exception as he might have entered Italy by route.

The man was reportedly hid the fuel in his suitcase which many believed he had a premeditation mind to burn himself in the eventuality of being busted.

The La Repubblica newspaper reported that a police officer noticed the man had covered himself with the liquid and had a light in his hand. He ran towards the man but was unable to stop him.

A nearby customs official, Tiziana Garner, told the Corriere della Serra newspaper that she spotted that the officer’s arm was on fire and helped him remove his top.

She then realised the Ivorian man, believed to be aged 19, was on fire and used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames, the paper reports.

The man and the officer have been taken to hospital and the area of the airport where the fire happened has re-opened again after it was temporary closed down.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News