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Issoufou assures that G5 Sahel alliance is unbreakable.



Head of the G5 Sahel force Mahamadou Issoufou says, the G5 Sahel countries will not fall into the traps of terrorists,adding they will enforce their capabilities to defeat them.

The Nigerien President visited Burkina Faso’s capital on Monday to commensurate with Burkinabes after a twin attack on Ougadougou last Friday.

Issoufou said that “the terrorists” often describe the French as foreign troops but that Sahel G5 countries would not “fall in the trap” and will continue to maintain a strong alliance with France.


“I would like to take this opportunity to send a thought to our allies, who are paying a heavy price in this battle which we are now fighting side by side against terrorism and in particular amongst our French allies, whose embassy was attacked. We know that terrorists and their accomplices seek to undo our alliance. We often hear them say of our allies that they are foreign troops. For us they are not foreign troops, they are allied troops that are fighting for the same cause as we are. Therefore we will not fall into the trap set by these terrorists and their accomplices who present the allied contribution as a foreign force in our countries. We will therefore re-enforce our capabilities with our allies, our operational capabilities, our information capabilities and I am sure that with this sharing we will not only defeat terrorism militarily but also we will create conditions for the economic and social development of the countries of the Sahel. That is why we put in place the G5 Sahel joint force which is working closely with Burkina Faso and collaborates with MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali)”, Issoufou said.

Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe who was part of the delegation ,praised security forces for their prompt response.

“A hit on Burkina, a hit on Ouagadougou is a hit on all of us. We have come to congratulate the security forces for their rapid and efficient response which certainly limited the damage because, following our visit to the army headquarters of Burkina Faso and the French embassy, it is clear that the intentions of these two groups was to achieve the maximum number of victims”, Gnassingbe said.

President of Burkina Faso, Marc Roch Christian Kabore said his people are in good spirit despite the attack.

“The fight against terrorism, as I said it before, is a long one and in this combat no sacrifice will be too high in the defense of our fatherland. It is true the recent events shook the Burkinabe people. But I assure you that the Burkinabe people will remain standing and that we will end terrorism no matter what the sacrifices we must make”,Kabore said..

The G5 Sahel force is made up of troops from Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.

A Mali-based al Qaeda affiliate on Saturday March 3 claimed responsibility for the attacks in neighbouring Burkina Faso that left 16 people dead and 50 wounded.


24 Hours Across Africa

Ghana draws African-American tourists with ‘Year of Return



US preacher Roxanne Caleb blinked away the tears as she emerged from a pitch-dark dungeon where African slaves were once held before being shipped across the Atlantic to America.

“I wasn’t prepared for this. I’m heartbroken,” she told AFP as she toured the Cape Coast slave fort on Ghana’s ocean shore.

“My mind still can’t wrap around the fact that a human being can treat another worse than a rat.”

Caleb is among the African-American visitors flocking to Ghana as it marks the “Year of Return” to remember the 400th anniversary of the first slave ship landing in Virginia.

The West African nation is banking on the commemorations to give a major boost to the number of tourist arrivals as it encourages the descendants of slaves to “come home”.

Cape Coast Castle, 150 kilometres (90 miles) from the capital Accra, is a major magnet for those visiting

The white-washed fort lined with cannons was one of dozens of prisons studding the Atlantic coast where slaves were held before their journey to the New World.

A string of prominent African-Americans have headed to the site this year to mark the anniversary since the first slave landing in 1619.

Among them was a delegation of Congressional Black Caucus led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that toured last month.

– ‘Can’t forget history’ –

For those visiting it is an emotional rite of passage.

“This has been understanding my history and my roots where I came from,” Caleb said.

“I am very thankful I came here as part of the Year of Return.”

Sampson Nii Addy, a corrections officer with the Montgomery police department in Alabama, said he and his family had found the tour an “education”.

“I think every black person needs to come around to learn history; how people were treated,” the 52-year-old told AFP.

“We can’t forget history but we can always learn something from it.”

Ghana, one of the continent’s most stable democracies, has long pitched itself as a destination for African-Americans to explore their heritage and even settle permanently.

In 2009 President Barack Obama visited with his family and paid homage at the Cape Coast Castle.

The “Year of Return” has added fresh impetus and the country is hoping it will increase visitor numbers from 350,000 in 2018 to 500,000 this year, including 45,000 African-Americans.

Kojo Keelson has spent nine years guiding tour groups around the Cape Coast Castle and says 2019 has seen a surge in interest as Ghana looks to rake in tourism revenue of $925 million (830 million euros).

“It’s like a pilgrimage. This year we’ve a lot more African-Americans coming through than the previous year,” he told AFP.

“I’m urging all of them to come home and experience and reconnect to the motherland.”

– ‘Love to come again’ –

Akwasi Awua Ababio, the official coordinating “Year of Return” events, pointed to high hotel occupancy rates as he said “enthusiasm is very high and we’ve got huge numbers coming from the US and Caribbean”.

He insisted that beyond the major economic boost, Ghana was also looking to use the new connections it is forging to convince the descendants of slaves to resettle for good and help the country develop.

“Human resource is always an asset and we need to see how we can welcome them home to utilise their expertise and networks,” the director for diaspora affairs at the presidency said.

The African American Association of Ghana brings together those who have moved to West Africa and offers help to integrate them into their new surroundings.

President Gail Nikoi praised the “Year of Return” initiative by Ghanaian leader Nana Akufo-Addo and said the country was “setting the stage for future engagements and involvement of African-Americans and other Africans from the diaspora in the development of this country.”

But she said the authorities could still be doing more to help attract arrivals and convince them to stay.

“Dialogue and engagement is the first step,” she said.

While most of those visiting Cape Coast were not thinking about settling back permanently — they said the trip had opened their eyes to both their own history and what Ghana has to offer.

“It has broadened my horizons about how we came to be here and what our ancestors went through,” said William Shaw, 57, from Montgomery.

“I would love to come again. There is a lot more to see here in Ghana… at least once in a year I’d advise African-Americans to come back to their native land and learn about their history.”

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24 Hours Across Africa

Nigeria: Woman arrested over Outrageous Viral video of her abusing a child



Police in Nigeria’s commercial hub of Lagos have arrested a woman filmed abusing a child and then locking him in a caged kennel with dogs.

It is not clear when the footage was shot, but it went viral on Twitter earlier this month.

In the video clip, a woman is seen beating a boy, stripped to his waist, with a belt. She then drags him into an empty kennel and locks it before walking away. Two dogs can be seen in other neighbouring kennels.

The video caused outrage on social media, where shocked users offered rewards to anyone that could track down the woman.

On Thursday, a police spokesperson, Dolapo Badmos, tweeted that the woman in the video had been arrested.

“The suspect is in custody and will be charged to court… The boy, who happens to be an orphan, has been rescued and kept in a shelter provided by Lagos state government,” she said.

Her tweet links to a video filmed by police showing the dog kennels where the boy was locked up:

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