A group of community elders in northeast Nigeria where Boko Haram has waged a bloody eight-year insurgency are urging the Islamists to enter peace talks, a move some see as motivated by ethnic self-interest.
The Borno Elders Forum of retired military and civilian officials, all ethnic Kanuri, said it was “time they (Boko Haram) put down their arms” and they should “repent and rejoin the larger society”.
By Ra'eesa Pather
In remote villages hours away from Malawi’s cities, community health workers are saving the lives of small children in makeshift outdoor treatment areas.
Uganda is the largest host country of refugees in Africa and the third largest in the world, after welcoming an average of 2 000 displaced men, women and children every day for the past 11 months.
The new statistics, released on Monday by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, come less than a week before Uganda’s Solidarity Summit on Refugees – a conference aimed to mobilise international support for those affected by the South Sudanese Civil War.
The Nigerian Defense Ministry official described how the authorities had built ditches around schools and installed security lighting and set up roadblocks to keep Boko Haram fighters from invading schools and carrying off students and teachers. She explained how the government has moved thousands of students in the most heavily-affected areas to safer areas to allow them to finish their studies free from fear and attack.
Fatimatu was dead. Mohamed Conte, a member of the Red Cross Ebola burial team, had lowered her corpse into the ground. But when he returned to the van to take off his protective clothing, she stood defiantly in front of him, an apparition.
“‘Isn’t that Fatimatu?’ I shouted to my colleagues. But they couldn’t see her,” Conte said.
The psychological effect of Ebola on aid workers, coupled with community stigmatisation, has left many of them to suffer alone, with some being driven to self-harm and alcoholism.