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120 inmates on the run after mob stormed Madagascar jail to ‘execute’ justice

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At least 120 prisoners have escaped from a jail in North Eastern Madagascar after nearly 800 people forced their way into Ikongo prison with the intention of lynching an inmate.

According to the country’s Justice ministry spokesperson, the mob overpowered the guards and after a fruitless search for the inmate they wanted, they released the 120 inmates in the prison.

‘‘About 800 people, according to the report we received, asked yesterday morning (Wednesday) to enter Ikongo Prison to get an accused charged with murder placed in custody in order to kill him, “said Jérémie Napou.

The spokesperson says that the officers manning the prison were held hostage and later released by the attackers.

“Five prison officers were even taken hostage before being released by the attackers,” he added.

The director of the prison and the magistrates who had placed the accused under arrest warrant “are hiding” at present “either in the forest or with other officials while awaiting the arrival of the reinforcements”, according to Jérémie Napou.

The phenomena of popular revenge are common on the island of Madagascar.

In 2013, three people – a Frenchman, a Franco-Italian and a Malagasy – were burned alive by a crowd that accused them of killing a child on the tourist island of Nosy Be.

An ancestral legal system that sanctions beatings and sometimes death as a punishment is still followed by some, coupled with a general lack of confidence in institutional justice are some of the reasons why people on this island nation take the law into their own hands.

Law enforcement agencies are considered to be slow and corrupt, fuelling a sense of insecurity in the populace.

24 Hours Across Africa

Thousands bid fare well to Mugabe..

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Zimbabwe’s founder Robert Mugabe was honored as an icon, principled leader and African intellectual giant at a state funeral on Saturday, after a week of disputes over his burial threatened to embarrass President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mugabe led Zimbabwe for 37 years, from independence until he was ousted by the army in November 2017, by which time he was viewed by many at home and abroad as a power-obsessed autocrat who unleashed death squads, rigged elections and ruined the economy to keep control.

He died in a Singapore hospital on Sept. 6 aged 95, far away from a country he left polarized by a raging political rivalry between its two largest political parties, ZANU-PF and the opposition MDC.

His remains will be interred in a mausoleum at the National Heroes Acre in the capital Harare in about 30 days, his nephew said on Friday, contradicting earlier comments that a burial would be held on Sunday.

On Saturday, Mnangagwa walked behind the casket carrying Mugabe’s body as it was wheeled into the center of Harare’s National Sports Stadium and placed on a podium decorated with flowers so that heads of state could say their farewells. Senior army generals and Mugabe’s wife and children followed, as a brass band played.

The 60,000 seater stadium was only half-filled.

In a tribute to his predecessor, Mnangagwa said Mugabe stood in defense of Africans. He urged the West to remove sanctions that were imposed during Mugabe’s rule.

“We who remain shall continue to hear his rich, brave, defiant and inspiring voice … encouraging and warning us to be vigilant and astute,” Mnangagwa said in a speech.

“A giant tree of Africa has fallen. Today Africa weeps.”

Mnangagwa and the ruling ZANU-PF party wanted Mugabe buried at the national shrine to heroes of the 15-year liberation war against white minority rule. But some relatives, expressing bitterness at the way former comrades ousted Mugabe, had pushed for him to be buried in his home village.

Walter Chidhakwa, who spoke on behalf of Mugabe’s family, said Mugabe was an icon who was determined and unflinching in pursuing policies like land reform and later the black economic empowerment program.

Mugabe left behind a country wrecked by hyperinflation, dollarization and deeply entrenched corruption.

But many Zimbabweans also remember Mugabe as their country’s liberator from white minority rule and for broadening people’s access to education and land

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24 Hours Across Africa

Nigeria: FG approves $5.3bn Ibadan-Kano rail project

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