China to Support Nigeria in Fight Against Islamist Insurgents

China signed a memorandum of understanding with Nigeria Thursday, offering its support to the West African nation’s security forces as they battle an Islamist insurgency in the country’s northeast, the army said.
No details on the nature of the assistance were provided in the emailed statement, signed by defense spokesman Tukur Gusau.
Boko Haram, a faction of which is allied to Islamic State’s so-called West Africa Province, has waged a decade-long campaign of violence to impose its version of Shariah law on Africa’s most populous country. Its militants have stepped up attacks in recent months, including on army bases, ahead of February elections in which President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking a second term.

EXECUTED TEEN Boxing fan Jayden Moodie’s tragic path from innocent Anthony Joshua fan to gang victim at 14

A BOY of 14 executed in cold blood was revealed to have posed with boxing champ Anthony Joshua — as his family spoke of a life snuffed out too soon.

But the wide-eyed 14-year-old is barely recognisable in a snap taken just months later – photographed sitting on a moped and hiding his face behind a skull mask as he pulls a “gun sign”.

Jayden Moodie was pictured with Anthony Joshua, with the 14-year-old aspiring boxer killed on Tuesday night

The photos chart the tragic tale of a teen, the youngest victim of London’s horrific street crime in two years.

Just six months after moving to the capital, Jayden was mowed down by a group of three men who then pounced from the black Mercedes and stabbed him seven times in the back in Waltham Forest, North East London.

As the youngster lay dying in the streets on Tuesday night, the men sped off into the night – with police still scrambling to find those responsible for the “targeted” attack.

Pals said Jayden lived nearby on the Beaumont estate in Leyton, East London — home to the notorious Beaumont Crew gang.

Jayden makes apparent gang signs as he sits on a moped in a Facebook video made as a tribute to him

They have been battling the OC Crew, from the Oliver Close estate, since 2002, with at least nine murders attributed to the feud.

Police recovered the car they believe was used in the attack last night but are still searching for the suspects in London’s fifth killing so far in 2019.

But as authorities plead with anyone with information to come forward, the teen’s family have been left numb by the violence that claimed the schoolboy’s life.

Among those left grieving for Jayden – who idolised boxing champ Joshua Anthony – was his godmother, Zoe Grant.

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African Union and UN relaunch Central African Republic peace talks

CAR

Senior officials from the United Nations, the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) on Tuesday began a visit to Bangui to “relaunch” the AU-led peace talks.

The senior officials are in Bangui “to revive international efforts for lasting peace in the country, through dialogue between the government and armed groups under the auspices of the African Union Initiative,” said a UN statement.

The AU mediation, launched in July 2017 and supported by the UN and the main partners of the Central African Republic, is criticized by diplomats and observers for its slow pace and a lack of results.

The visit – which includes Jean-Pierre Lacroix, head of the UN peacekeeping department, and Smail Chergui, AU peace commissioner – is scheduled to last until Thursday.

A parallel mediation has been launched by Russia backed by Sudan. Criticized by France, it brought together, at the end of August in Khartoum, three militias of the former Seléka coalition and the antibalaka group, a self-proclaimed self-defence militia.

At the end of September in New York, Central African President Faustin-Archange Touadéra stated that mediation for peace in his country was the responsibility of the AU, adding that Russia’s involvement in talks with armed groups was only for “facilitation” purposes.

The Central African Republic, has been mired in a deadly conflict for the past six years, which has displaced more than a quarter of its 4.5 million inhabitants.

Gabon military takes over state radio in a coup attempt, Condemns Bongo’s Rabat address

Gabon

Military officers in Gabon have seized the national radio station calling for the need for national restoration, the Reuters news agency reported on Monday.

The soldiers also condemned the New Year speech delivered by President Ali Bongo Ondimba stating that they were disappointed with it.

A New Year’s address by Bongo“reinforced doubts about the president’s ability to continue to carry out the responsibilities of his office,” said Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang, leader of the self-declared Patriotic Movement of the Defense and Security Forces of Gabon.

The president for the first time delivered his address from the Moroccan capital, Rabat, where he is recuperating from a stroke. He was transferred to Rabat from a Saudi hospital late last year.

Security and political watchers are pointing to the military’s move as an apparent coup attempt. The full extent of the involvement of the military top brass is not yet known.

Sudan’s Basir refuse to resign, offer probe into violence

South Sudan

Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has rejected calls for president Omar al-Bashir to resign in the wake of protests, arguing that this would be contrary to the national consensus reached after dialogue in 2016.

The statement by the ruling party on Tuesday followed defections of several political entities from the ruling coalition, who joined opposition parties and protesters demanding for the fall of Bashir’s regime.

NCP Media Sector Ibrahim al-Siddiq described their decision to withdraw from the government as “an exit of the national consensus represented by the National Document and contrary to the political ethics.”

“Some of the leaders of this group are known to be skilful political adventurers and (experts in the) change of attitudes. So this gives an idea about their lack of principled political action,” al-Siddiq said in a statement released on the NCP page on Facebook.

Bashir orders probe into violence

Bashir himself on Tuesday ordered authorities to set up a fact-finding committee to investigate violence during anti-government protests that have rocked the country, state media reported.

“President Omar al-Bashir has ordered the setting up of a fact-finding committee headed by the justice minister to look into the incidents of the past few days,” state news agency SUNA reported quoting a presidential decree.

At least 19 people have been killed and hundreds wounded during the protests that erupted in cities, including the capital Khartoum, on December 19 after a government decision to hike the price of bread.

Human rights group Amnesty International has put the death toll at 37.

Background to the protests

The government raised the price of a loaf of bread from one Sudanese pound to three (from about two to six US cents).

The ensuing protests quickly evolved into anti-government rallies in Khartoum and several other cities.

In the initial days of the protests, several buildings and offices of Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party were torched by protesters.

Riot police have managed to disperse the rallies so far, while security agents have arrested several opposition leaders and activists in a crackdown on suspected organisers.

Sudan is facing an acute foreign exchange crisis and soaring inflation despite Washington lifting an economic embargo in October 2017.

The foreign exchange crisis has steadily escalated since Sudan’s partition in 2011, when South Sudan broke away, taking with it the bulk of oil revenues.

Inflation is currently running at 70 percent and the Sudanese pound has plunged in value, while shortages of bread and fuel have hit several cities.