Niger: jihadists kill dozen of soldiers in Kandani
Niger’s country’s defence ministry has said that a dozen soldiers have reportedly been killed in southwestern Niger by suspected Islamist militants.
According to the BBC, seven soldiers were killed in combat, while five others died in a road accident responding to the attack.
Defence Minister Salifou Mody said over 100 militants had been killed in a counter-offensive.
There have been cases of jihadist attacks on the army since the military seized power in July.
The country’s army said it had staged the coup so it could better fight the militants, some of whom are linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.
Reports say soldiers from across the country have been recalled to the capital, Niamey, to guard the coup leaders, leaving large areas vulnerable to militant attacks.
At least 17 soldiers were killed last month in another attack near the border with Burkina Faso. This was the deadliest known attack in the country since the coup.
Salifou Mody said Thursday’s attack was carried out by “several hundred terrorists riding their motorcycles” in the town of Kandadji.”
It is still not clear who was behind the attack.
Tunisian opposition leader Ghannouchi starts a three-day hunger protest in jail
Opposition leader and critic of Tunisian President Rached Ghannouchi has embarked on a three-day hunger strike to support other imprisoned opposition figures, his Islamist Ennahda party said earlier today.
Ghannouchi, 82, was sentenced to a year in jail in May 2023 on charges of incitement and plotting against state security. More than 20 other opposition figures have been detained this year in Tunisia.
They say Saied’s shutting down of the elected parliament in 2021 and moves to rule by decree amounted to a coup. Saied, who enshrined his new constitutional powers in a referendum with a low turnout last year, has denied his actions were a coup and said they were needed to save Tunisia from years of chaos.
An Ennahda party statement said its leader had launched the three-day action to support fellow jailed opposition figures who are protesting at what they term “unjust imprisonment.”
Ghannouchi, a political prisoner and exile before the 2011 revolution that brought democracy, was parliament speaker in the 2019 election, and his party was the biggest in the legislature until Saied sent tanks to shut it down in 2021.
Gabon first lady charged with money laundering
Sylvia Bongo, the wife of Gabon’s ousted President Ali Bongo, has been charged with money laundering, receiving stolen property, forgery, and the use of forgery, the BBC reports.
Public prosecutor Andre Patrick Roponat announced on Friday that Sylvia Bongo’s case had been brought before an investigating judge the day before. He also said her house arrest order was being upheld.
The charges follow weeks of uncertainty about Mrs Bongo’s whereabouts after she was put under house arrest on August 30 when the military deposed her husband.
The decision to charge the former first lady comes after her son Noureddin Bongo Valentin was also charged with corruption embezzlement and placed in pre-trial detention.
However, deposed President Ali Bongo, whose tenure was replete with accusations of corruption, has been released by the military junta and cleared to travel abroad for medical attention if he wishes.
ECOWAS receives $86 million in support from Germany
The Economic Community of West African States or ECOWAS, has received 81 million euros ($85.9 million) pledge support from the German Development Ministry for peacebuilding.
The development minister, Svenja Schulze, said the financial support is also for economic development in the ECOWAS region and her member states.
“Solutions to the crises in West Africa must come from the region. ECOWAS is a key player in this, actively mediating in crises and doing a lot for crisis prevention,”Reuters quotes Svenja Schulze, who met with an ECOWAS delegation in Berlin on Friday, September 29th, 2023.
Putin holds talks with Eastern Libya leader
As Russia continues to stamp its dominance in some African countries, President Vladimir Putin has held talks with the military leader of eastern Libya, Khalifa Haftar, in Moscow.
General Haftar’s forces relied heavily on Russian Wagner mercenaries – many of whom were still in eastern Libya during his failed assault on Tripoli four years ago.
A Kremlin spokesman said they discussed the situation in Libya and the region.
Haftar’s forces dominate the east of the country, while a rival internationally recognised Tripoli-based government controls some of the west.
Russia has long sought to boost its influence in Africa, including Niger.