Nigeria: Hezbollah weapons of mass destruction found in northern Nigeria

The Nigerian army has discovered a weapons of mass destruction belonging to Hezbollah

The Nigerian army has discovered a weapons of mass destruction belonging to Hezbollah

 

The Nigerian army has told reporters that dangerous weapons belonging to the Lebanese group, Hezbollah have been found in the northern city of Kano.

Army spokesman Brig. Gen. Iliyasu Isa Abba confirmed that three Lebanese nationals have been arrested in connection with the weapons.

He gave the name of those arrested as Abdallah Hassan Fadallah, Mustapher Fawaz and Abdullahi Tigani, adding that they have all been moved to Abuja for further investigations.

The army said a special squad from the Joint Task Force in Kano, raided a bungalow located on Gaya Road, Bompai area of the commercial city where they discovered a bunker stuffed with dangerous arms and ammunition and concealed inside coolers.

An armoury which contains weapons including rifles, anti-tank weapons and rocket-propelled grenade, were found in a warehouse in the city of Kano, the army spokesman said.

Brig. Issa Abba further described into detail the nature of the weapons as 11 anti-tank weapons, four anti-tank mines, a rocket-propelled grenade and 21 RPG missiles, 17 AK-47s, two sub-machine guns and 76 grenades.

“We discovered all these dangerous weapons in a warehouse and it was carefully buried in a sawdust but we had A well intelligence’’, Brig. Abba noted.

“The Lebanese owner of the warehouse where the weapons of mass destruction had been stored in the sawdust was out of the country’’, he said.

But the Kano State security service said the suspects have admitted during preliminary questioning that the weapons were meant to fight Israeli and Western interests in Nigeria.

The director of the State Security Service in Kano Bassey Ettang said there is no doubt that the weapons is not from Hezbollah.

“This is the handwork of Hezbollah, what has just been discovered is a cell of Hezbollah and what you have seen here is a Hezbollah armoury, he told reporters.

Mr. Ettang further added that he fears that the people arrested might have been providing assistance to local militants Boko Haram.

“You can also be sure that if a group like this is existing then they may even lend support to some of the local terrorists we have on the ground, he added.

Boko Haram has caused many destructions in northern Nigeria including human lives and properties and are currently being perused by the Nigerian military.

There were however no official report linking the found weapons to Boko Haram but some people believe they might be some links between the Lebanese and the militants.

Hezbollah is a Shia military and political movement based in Lebanon and they are considered by the US as a terrorist organization.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

 

 

Eritrea-Canada Diplomacy: Eritrean envoy in Canada declared persona non grata by the Canadian government

The Canadian government has declared Semere Ghebremariam Micael  Persona non Grata

The Canadian government has declared Semere Ghebremariam Micael Persona non Grata in Canada

The Canadian government has directed the Eritrean envoy in the country to leave the country over allegation of extorting monies from Eritrean citizens in Canada to fund the Eritrean army.

The Consulate General of Eritrea in Toronto has long been accused by the Canadian government of running a collection racket set up to finance the regime and its armed forces.

Canada said Semere Ghebremariam Micael who is the head of the Eritrean Consulate General in Toronto, has been under surveillance over the practice and he has been caught clear this time.

The National Post newspaper in Canada first reported in 201 that the Eritrean consulate in Canada was acting as a fundraising front that is soliciting a 2% income tax and a $300 to $500 national defence fee from Eritrean expatriates in Canada.

The scheme was considered illegal because the United Nations Security Council has imposed sanctions on the Eritrean military four years ago over its ties to Al-Shabab militants in Somalia who are believed to have links with al-Qaeda.

The Canadian government moved On Wednesday to shut the scheme down and ordered the expulsion of Consul Semere Ghebremariam O. Micael over his persistent efforts to use the consulate to violate the United Nations military embargo.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Mr. Micael had been declared persona non grata and has been directed to leave the country before June 6.

“Canada has repeatedly made clear to Eritrea to respect international sanctions and Canadian law,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

The statement further added that Mr. Michael has previously been warned against collecting funds from Eritrean expatriates living in Canada which he agreed to stop the practice.

But recent reports it further said, Mr. Michael had again started demanding the payments of which some victims reported to the Canadian government.

The Canadian government reportedly told Eritrea on Wednesday that it was willing to accept a new envoy to replacement for Mr. Micael, but that person must also be prepared to play by the rules.

Some of the victims were quoted by the Canadian press admitting that they have been charged the unlawful tax by the consul.

“You have to go to the consulate and they arrange how you have to pay the money, they want 2%… they don’t give you a reason. You have to pay the money or your family [in Eritrea] would get in trouble if you don’t pay’’, an anonymous source told the Canadian press.

The Eritrean government has not officially commented on the matter but Mr. Michael has denied the allegation saying he was merely providing information to those who want to donate to the army back home.

The United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions on the Eritrean military four years ago over its ties to Al-Shabab militants in Somalia who are believed to have links with al-Qaeda and destabilizing countries in Eastern Africa including Somalia and Kenya.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

 

France on Libya: France calls for immediate action against militants in southern Libya

France has called for immediate action against militants in the Islamic Maghreb in Africa

France has called for immediate action against militants in the Islamic Maghreb in Africa

The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has urged African nations in the Islamic Maghreb to come together and deal swiftly with the growing insurgency of militants in the southern Libyan Desert.

Mr. Fabius made this call in his visit to Niger to access the situation in last week bombing of a French-run uranium mine by the militants operating in the Islamic Maghreb.

Militants in the Islamic militants led by fearful militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar carried two deadly attacks in Niger last week killing at least 21 including a French-run uranium mine in Niger.

He said there were signs that Libya’s lawlessness in south was becoming a safe haven for militant groups in the Sahara operating from Mali and stretch to the nations in the Islamic Maghreb.

“It seems we must make a special effort on southern Libya – which is also what Libya wants, we spoke about the initiatives which neighboring countries can take in liaison with Libya, Mr. Fabius said.

Mr. Fabius said efforts to address the problem in southern Libya would need support from Tunisia, Algeria, Chad, Mali and Egypt both all in the Islamic Maghreb.

“Since, as is often said, a large part of Libya could act as a refuge for terrorist groups, all of these countries must act together, France would assist them with lots of determination and lots of solidarity, he added.

France intervention in Mali has helped repelled militants who took advantage of a coup d’état in Mali to destabilize the country. The intervention has pushed the militants to the desert making them spreading across most of the nation in the Islamic Maghreb.

Laurent Fabius also discussed among many things with Niger’s President, Mahamadou Issoufou on how Niger can help in fighting terrorism in the area with the help of the French government.

Mr. Fabius said Libya has become a weapons smuggling route for militants in the Sahara since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

He said French intelligent has revealed that fearful militant who is also believed to be a former al Qaeda commander Mokhtar Belmokhtar acquired arms and his fighters use Libya as a transit route to destabilize other nations in the Maghreb.

Libya is struggling to control armed groups which helped toppled Gaddafi and now refuse to lay down their weapons.

The Libyan Parliament in December declared the south of the country a military zone but security system in the borders remains a huge task for the weak state forces.

The French Embassy was bombed last month by suspected militants in the capital Tripoli which the French government described as an act of terrorism.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

 

African Union Cries Foul: International Criminal Court ICC hunts African race

The African Union has accused the International Criminal Court of hunting the African race alone

The African Union has accused the International Criminal Court of hunting the African race alone

The African Union (AU) has registered its displeasure against the International Criminal Court (ICC) of hunting only Africans because of their race at the union’s summit at the ancient city of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

The chairperson for the summit Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia made this remarks on Monday when the summit was on the verge of closing.

The mentioning of this by the Prime Minister brought uproar and loud applause from the many crowd gathered in the conference room from across the African continent.

The Africa Union converged at the historic city of Addis Ababa where its headquarters is located to celebrate the 50 years of existence of the union in the ultra-modern conference room built and donated to the Union by the Chinese government.

The African Union stated among many things that it is highly opposed to the International Criminal Court trying of Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta on charges of crimes against humanity as being responsible for the violence after disputed elections in 2007 in Kenya.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was elected in March this year beating the then Prime Minister Raila Odinga by 50.07% to 43.28% but the International Criminal Court wants him tried despite being a sitting President.

“African leaders are concerned that out of those indicted by the ICC, 99% are Africans and this clearly shows that something is flawed within the system of the International Criminal Court and we the Africa Union object to this practice by the ICC’’, Prime Minister Hailemariam lamented.

“The ICC had been formed more than a decade ago to end the culture of impunity, but now the process has degenerated into some kind of race hunting’’, he stressed further.

“The African Union is mandated by the assembly to take care of this issue, to present to the United Nations the core of this matter,” he said again.

The African Union will formally register its protest before the General Assembly of the United Nations as soon as possible, PM Hailemariam added.

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir is among the African leaders being indicted by the ICC but he attended the summit in defiance of an ICC warrant for his arrest.

The African Union Peace and Security Council head Ramtane Lamamra told reporters that it was unreasonable for the United Nations Security Council to refer President Bashir to the ICC when three of its five permanent members namely, the United States, Russia and China have all not ratified the Rome Statute which established the International Criminal Court.

“How could you refer the cases of others while you don’t feel compelled to abide by the same rule?” he is quoted as saying by reporters.

Some 300,000 people are estimated to have died in Darfur in Sudan since 2003, according to the UN report of which the International Criminal Court indicted President Bashir as being responsible for the conflict charging him with genocide.

The position of the African Union on the International Criminal Court was met with praises by many political analysts, of which some described as “the time for Africans to be free from both political and mental imperialism’’.

Specifically from the Ghanaian capital Accra, people were happy that the African Union has been able to take this bold decision by referring its displeasure to the United Nations.

 

Brief History of the African Union

The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the African Union is Morocco.

The African Union was established on 26 May 2001 in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and launched on 9 July 2002 in South Africa to replace the Organization of African Unity (OAU) which was started by 8 African leaders led by Ghana’s first President, Kwame Nkrumah.

The most important decisions of the African Union are made by the Assembly of the African Union, a semi-annual meeting of the heads of state and government of its member states.

The African Union is headquartered in the ancient city of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. The Chinese government built and donated the current edifice of the African Union which is a giant and magnificent building in Addis Ababa to the Union.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

 

 

 

Ghana-Turkey Relation: Trade between Ghana and Turkey to Hit $1 Billion By 2015

President Mahama in a warm handshake with his Turkish counterpart when the latter visited Turkey his year

President Mahama in a warm handshake with his Turkish counterpart when the latter visited Turkey his year

 

The outgoing Turkish Ambassador to Ghana Aydin Nurham has told the Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama that Turkey is committed to increasing bilateral trade from $500 million currently to $1 billion by 2015 with Ghana.

This the outgoing Ambassador revealed at Ghana’s seat of government in the capital Accra where he met with President John Mahama.

The discovery of oil and gas in Ghana and its credential as stable democratic and a growing middle class has made the West African country an attractive destination for investors from Europe and across the world.

Turkey has had 10 business delegations to Ghana in the past year and both countries have re-opened their respective diplomatic missions and have been holding trade exhibitions and fairs on regular basis.

President Mahama on his part indicated that Ghana and Turkey were halfway through their dream of achieving the $1 billion trade portfolio and that Ghana was committed to achieving that target very soon.

President Mahama further commended Mr. Nurham for moving Ghana-Turkey relations to a new level, and indicated that, the country has now seen its physical benefits.

President Mahama and Vice president Kwesi Amissah-Arthur have both visited Turkey separately this year while the Turkish President Abdulla Gul and Prime Minister Recep Erdogan have both visited Ghana in the last few years.

Earlier this month a Turkish company agreed to build the Central mosque which will be the largest Mosque in Accra for the Muslim community in the country, while Turkish investors have expressed an interest in building the new international airport that Ghana has proposed to build soon.

Turkey has increased its investment and diplomatic charm in Africa in a bid to capture the economic growth and investment opportunities opening up on the continent.

It is believe that Turkey became the first European country to resume direct air flights to Somalia with Turkish Airlines last year.

 

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

 

 

Mali Conflict: French forces begin Mali withdrawal completely

This military convoy of France was spotted leaving Bamako

This military convoy of France was spotted leaving Bamako

The French army in Mali has begun withdrawing from their base in the Malian capital Bamako, this time, in a convoy of many military vehicles.

The convoy according to local reporters headed to the south where it is believe there were on their way to the Ivory Coast.

It is however unclear what the troops will be doing in Ivory Coast but there have been suggestions from political analyst that the troops will assist in providing some military advice to the Ivorian military before eventually departing to Paris.

This old man look with surprise as the military convoy drove past him by the roadside.

This old man look with surprise as the military convoy drove past him by the roadside.

But an anonymous French source insisted that they are simply carrying equipment and vehicles that are surplus to requirements to the Ivorian military before flying home.

The French military aided the arrest of former president and now in The Hague, Laurent Gbagbo who refused to step down after the disputed elections in 2011.

Mr. Gbagbo together with his wife Simone Gbagbo are facing trial for crime against humanity but his wife is being held in a detention centre in the Ivory Coast while Gbagbo himself still remains in The Hague.

France began withdrawing some of its 4,000 troops who was deployed in January to battle militants who took advantage of a coup d’état to cause chaos from the country in April.

The French troops were heading to the Ivory Coast

The French troops were heading to the Ivory Coast

 

France has planned to gradually hand over to the Malian army and a UN peacekeeping force, which will be deployed in July ahead of planned nationwide elections.

The French and Malian soldiers have been able to force the militants out of the urban areas but some of them retreated to hideouts in the mountains and desert from where they have been launching surprised attacks on troops battling them.

France still has 3,800 troops in Mali and says their number will be down to 2,000 by September and 1,000 by the end of the year.

Fearful militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar is reported officially to have masterminded the two suicide bombings in Niger

Fearful militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar is reported officially to have masterminded the two suicide bombings in Niger

 

Meanwhile, this withdrawal comes just two days after militants in neighboring Niger targeted an army barracks and French-run uranium mine killing 21 people.

The Algerian fearful militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar is reported officially to have masterminded the two suicide bombings in Niger on Thursday.

The bombers targeted a military base in Agadez and the French-run uranium mine in Arlit, killing 21 people and leaving many injured.

Many have questioned the French withdrawal as some suggest that they should have waited for the UN- peacekeeping force to be deploy in July before they would have began to withdraw from the country.

Mali received a pledge of more than $4bn at an international donor conference last week in Brussels to fund the Malian government’s plan for a total rebuilding of the country, which include rebuilding of government institutions, repairing damaged infrastructure, organizing presidential elections, holding dialogue with rebel groups in the north and stimulating the country’s economy.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

 

Niger Terrorist Attack: 20 people dead as dozens others left injured in Niger

nigeria

Suicide bombers have struck on two separate locations in the Republic of Niger killing 20 people while leaving many injured.

Both attacks were carried out as people prepared for early morning prayers known as Fajir just after 05:00 local time (04:00 GMT).

Local reporters say a military camp and a French-run uranium mine in two towns in north-west of the country were the target of the terrorists.

A bomb at a barracks in Agadez killed 19, including 18 soldiers while four terrorists died in the attack and a passbyer.

The attack on the French-run Somair mine, in the town of Arlit, killed one person and injured 14, its operator told local reporters.

Local reporters say militant leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar was behind the attacks according to rumors making rounds in the country.

These rumors were substantiated by the Mauritanian news agency Alakhbar as it quoted a spokesman for the militants as saying: “It was Belmokhtar who himself supervised the operational plans of attacks.”

Another spokesman for the militants was quoted as saying that the attacks were targeted at the enemies of Islam in the Islamic Maghreb.

“We attacked France and Niger because of its co-operation with France, in the war against Islam, we will intensify our attacks’’.

The Niger Defence Minister Mahamadou Karidjo said insurgents had driven a car bomb into the military base and detonated the bomb. 18 soldiers died, 4 militants and two other civilian were hit while dozen others of the military suffered injuries, the defence minister stressed further.

He added that the government has declared three days of mourning for those who died in the attack including the military personnel and the civilians.

The Interior Minister Abdou Labo put the number of people wounded at the uranium site at about 50 in that attack alone.

Militants in the Islamic Maghreb have increase in recent years with some blaming them for taking part in the Mali conflict.

Last month, Militants in the Islamic Maghreb called for support from those in West Africa to intensify their activities in Africa.

But French President Francois Hollande vowed to protect his nation’s interests and co-operate with Niger in its fight against terrorism in the Islamic Maghreb.

France intervene in the Mali conflict to prevent what it described as preventing militants from destabilizing other nations in West Africa.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News