News Desk: AP Africa April 8, 2023


At least 44 people killed by jihadis in Burkina Faso’s north


ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — At least 30 people were killed in an attack on an internally displaced person’s camp in north-central Nigeria, the second major attack in the area this week, authorities said Saturday.

Gunmen attacked civilians in Mgban village in Benue state Friday evening and an investigation is underway, said Sewuese Anene, a local police officer.

While it’s unclear who was responsible for the attack, authorities said suspicion fell on local herdsmen who have clashed in the past with farmers over land disputes in north-central Nigeria.

The farmers accuse the herders, mostly of Fulani origin, of grazing their livestock on their farms and destroying their produce. The herders insist that the lands are grazing routes that were first backed by law in 1965, five years after the country gained its independence.

The people attacked had been displaced from fighting between farmers and cattle herders and were seeking refuge in a makeshift displacement site.

The violence comes days after gunmen killed at least 50 people in two separate attacks on Umogidi village in the state, which is referred to as “Nigeria’s food basket” because of its bountiful harvests. The villages are some 170 kilometers (105 miles) away from Friday’s attack, however, it’s unclear if the same group was responsible for both attacks.

At least 24 migrants die in waters off Tunisia over 2 days


TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — At least 24 migrants trying to make their way to Europe died over two days when their fragile, overloaded boats sank, the prosecutor’s office of the coastal port city of Sfax said Saturday.

The Tunisian Coast Guard pulled the bodies of four sub-Saharan migrants from the waters off the coast of Sfax on Saturday, while 36 migrants were saved and three others were missing, according to Faouzi Masmoudi, spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Sfax. A day earlier, 20 sub-Saharan migrants drowned when their boat went under about 35 miles (about 56 kilometers) from Sfax, and 17 others, including three children, were saved, Masmoudi said. He added that two of the survivors pulled from the water were reported in critical condition.

The numbers of migrants launching from Tunisian coastal waters and aiming to reach the shores of Italy have skyrocketed this year. The Coast Guard intercepted numerous other boats loaded with migrants on Friday and Saturday, Masmoudi said.

According to the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights, 132 migrants have died or disappeared in the first three months of this year while trying to reach Europe, reflecting the numbers of attempted and successful crossings.

Truck crashes into pedestrians in Kenya, killing 10


NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A truck crashed into pedestrians and motorcycle taxis near western Kenya’s border with Tanzania, killing at least 10 people and injuring 10 others Saturday, authorities said.

A local police commander said the crash in the town of Migori happened along a major highway when the driver lost control of the brakes.

An operation to free people trapped under the truck was underway, and there were fears the deal toll might rise, Migori county commander Mark Wanjala said.

Two more people were reported to have been knocked across a bridge and into a river, but an attempt to rescue them had not started, Wanjala said.

Witnesses told local media the truck driver honked the vehicle’s horn repeatedly before the crash. The truck was carrying bags of rice toward the Isebania border town into neighboring Tanzania.

Videos of people looting the rice while people remained trapped under the track appeared on social media.

Many Kenyans travel to their rural homes during the Easter holidays, and road accidents during the busy season are common.

Police urged motorists to exercise caution and ensure vehicles were well serviced before embarking on long drives.

Mayor: At least 22 people killed by rebels in eastern Congo


GOMA, Congo (AP) — At least 22 civilians were killed by extremist rebels in eastern Congo - the group’s second large-scale deadly attack of the week, local authorities said Saturday.

Fighters with the Allied Democratic Forces — which has ties to the Islamic State group — attacked people in Beni territory in North Kivu province late Friday evening, said Nicolas Kambale, the mayor of Oicha commune where the attacks occurred.

“The enemy killed them savagely and as we speak we have at least 22 civilians killed who are already in the morgue,” Kambale said Saturday.

Violence has been simmering in eastern Congo for decades where some 120 armed groups have been fighting over land, resources, power and some to defend their communities. Attacks by rebel groups like ADF have increased recently. Since April last year, ADF attacks have killed at least 370 civilians and abducted several hundred more, including a significant number of children, according to the United Nations.

The group, which originally operated in North Kivu province, has spread to neighboring Ituri province, where more than 144,000 people have been displaced between January and February, according to the U.N. Efforts by Congo’s army and Ugandan forces to push them back have yielded little results.

Friday’s attack came days after ADF killed more than 30 civilians, including women and children, between the Irumu and Mambasa territories in Ituri.

A spokesman for Congo’s army in Beni, Capt. Antony Mwalushayi, said the attack Friday was in retaliation for large-scale offensives that the military has been conducting in the area.