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NIGERIAN ARMY ATTACK VILLAGES, KILL DOZENS.

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Nigeria’s air force killed at least 35 people in attacks on villages in the northeastern state of Adamawa in December, Amnesty International said in a report on Tuesday.

Residents of the villages described being fired upon by a fighter jet and military helicopter as they attempted to flee, at the same time as hundreds of herdsmen took part in a revenge attack on the communities for earlier killings, Amnesty said.

“Launching air raids is not a legitimate law enforcement method by anyone’s standard,” said Osai Ojigho, Amnesty’s country director for Nigeria, in Tuesday’s report.

Such reckless use of deadly force is unlawful, outrageous and lays bare the Nigerian military’s shocking disregard for the lives of those it supposedly exists to protect,” she said.

The report is the latest challenge to the military on human rights and the attacks suggest a deadly crisis between herders and farmers is spiralling out of government control.

Reports of abuses and military excesses rarely result in Nigeria’s military meting out public discipline to officers.

Air Force spokesman Olatokunbo Adesanya denied it had bombed any locations in the region or fired shots targeting people, saying it had opened fire to dissuade looters and vandals. Adesanya said he was unaware of any human casualties.

On December 4, air force fighter jets fired rockets at villages to deter communal clashes as a cycle of violence and revenge attacks gripped Adamawa state, Amnesty said.

The region is a flashpoint for violence between Muslim herders and Christian farmers over rights to grazing land and agriculture. This month at least 168 people have died across five states in such clashes, said Amnesty.

“The helicopter and the jet started releasing bombs. Houses started burning. Children started running for their lives,” an unnamed farmer from the village of Shafaron told Amnesty.

The report described the “devastating cumulative effect of the herders and Air Force attacks, with at least eight villages heavily damaged or completely destroyed by fire.”

Burned husks of vehicles and blackened houses reduced in parts to rubble were shown in an accompanying video from Amnesty. Satellite images depicted large swathes of settlements ravaged by fire.

Eighty-six people died, with the Nigerian air force responsible for at least 35 deaths, and some 3,000 homes were destroyed in the five villages visited, said Amnesty.

Nigeria is in the final stages of buying fighter planes from the United States, a deal halted by former president Barack Obama’s administration over concerns about the military’s human rights record.

President Donald Trump’s administration approved the sale. That came after as many as 170 people died last January after Nigeria’s air force bombed a refugee camp.

Nigeria’s military receives regular training from the United States and Britain.

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UN reports about 900 fatalities in DR Congo’s ethnic violence.

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The united nations report that at least 890 people were killed in over just 3 days in ethnic violence in western DRC in mid-december.

The UN Human Rights Office reports the violence took place in four villages between Banunu and Batende communities.



The UN however warns the death toll could be higher. But there seems to be conflicting death tolls for the violence.

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A local priest and a civil society activist earlier in the week said at least 400 people had died in bloodshed that even led to the government canceling voting in last month’s presidential polls.

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The UN insists that 890 is the number of people known to have been buried.

The recent attack from the ethnic clashes in Yumbi, Mai-Ndombe Province allegedly started when members of the Banunu tribe wanted to bury one of their traditional chiefs on Batende land.

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Britain, UN worry over Internet shutdown in Zimbabwe.

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In the wake of deadly protests against a fuel price hike, and an ongoing internet shutdown in Zimbabwe, the United Nations has urged the government to stop “excessive use of force” by security forces including firing live ammunition.

The government has said three people died during demonstrations that broke out on Monday after President Emmerson Mnangagwa raised fuel prices by 150 percent.

Lawyers and activists say the toll was much higher and that security forces used violence and carried out mass arrests to quell the unrest.



The internet was cut off earlier this week, with critics saying the government sought to prevent images of its heavy-handedness in dealing with protesters from being broadcast around the world.

Leading mobile operator Econet Wireless said the government had ordered it to shut down services.

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“We were served with another directive for total shutdown of the internet until further notice,” Econet said in a statement.

“Our lawyers advised that we are required to comply with the directive pending the court’s decision on its legality.”

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Friday’s fuller internet shutdown also affected emails.

Due to the shutdown, Harare banks were providing only partial services and no cash machines were working, a witness said, while long queues formed at petrol stations and shops.

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