Category Archives: Africa

Five Beheaded By Al-Shabaab Militants: When Will This End?

somalia

Al-Shabaab militants beheaded their fifth victim, a Quran school instructor in Mogadishu, Somalia, according to recent reports. The Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group claimed responsibility for the killings. ‘’On Friday, the school instructor was kidnapped from his home in Qandho and they dumped his headless body near his home on early Saturday morning,’’ said a local spokesman who asked not to be named for fear of his life. The teacher, identified as Hussein Mohamed was a resident of Qandho in central Somalia. He was 45 years old. The reason Mr. Hussein was killed was that he refused to follow orders by the militants to leave the village that was seized by AU and Somali troops. According to the militants, all local residents were supposed to leave their homes once they seized their town.

Early last week, Al-shabaab militants kidnapped and killed two policewoman of Somali origin by beheading in the remote city of Teyeglow, in southwest Somalia. A government soldier whose dear wife was among the victims who were beheaded then sought revenge and killed five Al-shabaab wives. In the town of Bur Hakab near south Somalia, the militants also killed two army guys. This is a group that was declared a terrorist organization in early March 2008 by the United States of America. Al-shabaab seeks to Somaliland into an Islamic state. The militants are linked to hundreds of deaths from attacks that target civilians, workers, journalists and AU peacekeepers.

In other news, U.S official intelligence personnel are in the process of confirming the death of Omar Hammami, who was beheaded in Somalia by Al-shabaab militants. According to Somalia media, the no-nonsense jihadist known as ‘the American’ met his death on orders carried out by his rival within their group. Reports claim that Hammami was born in Alabama and was a recruiter based in U.S. on the verge of recruiting western Europeans and Americans to the terrorist group, one of the most dangerous militants in Africa.

A U.S Special Forces officer confirmed that they are yet to make sure the reports of his death are true and if they are, it would be a turning point to the group’s operations overseas. ‘Our people have been following this report keenly. We are yet to confirm the report is true, ‘said the official. According to Somalia medial, Al-shabaab leader known as Ahmed Abdi Godane ordered the execution of Hammami and jihadist forums were quick to post the alleged beheading on Hammami.
Hammami had released a video last month admitting to feeling that Al-shabab were going to kill him due to difference of opinion. In the video which could not be verified, he says he disagreed with the Jihadist’s strategy and Islam’s Sharia Law. This is not the first time the group executed their foreign fighters, according to recent reports. Hammami was believed to have been killed in February after heavy shelling in Mogadishu by anti-insurgent soldiers. He joined the group in 2007 October when he was only in his twenties.

The Al-Jazeera reports describe him as a ‘military instructor’ and a ‘fighter’ and he hid his face when filming videos. Nobody knows what triggered Hammami to change from a talented student who dated a popular girl in college, to an influential figure in today’s world’s inhumane Islamist group. He was born in 1884 and was brought up in a Christian family and went to Bible camp when he was young. His mother had an Alabama Accent and he learned this in elementary school. His father who was strict, and was from Syria and later moved to America as an engineer.

His was raised in the American way of life but he remained a cultural Muslim where shoes were always left outside the door and pork was strictly forbidden, and their household was decorated with Koranic inscriptions. In his youthful years, he loved soccer and Shakespeare and had dreams of studying surgery. His friends say Hammami was a good leader. ‘It felt nice just to be around him, a friend reported to the New York Times. He was a fun person to have around and we knew he had strong leadership skills. In his early thirties, Hammami was a leader in one of the worst terrorist group in the world.

The Boko Haram Menace Continues: Kidnaps 100 Children and Women and Kills 30 People

nigeria

Boko Haram menace: Kills 32 people, kidnaps over 100 children and women

Recently, Boko Haram terrorists killed 30 people and kidnapped over 180 children and women in Northeastern Nigeria in a planned raid, said local residents and officials. They arrived in many pick up tracks and attacked the remote village in a place called Gumsuri on Sunday and show down men who were working and grouped children and women and killed them. ‘’They then gathered the children and women and carried them in their trucks and burned their homes with bombs’’ said a government official who asked for anonymity for his safety. Due to lack of proper communication, the news of this hostile attack surfaced after four days. Boko Haram had disabled telecommunication towers before they attacked. In fact, local government officials only received news of the attack from locals who had fled for their dear life to Borno state where most officials had migrated to for fear of being attacked.

According to witness reports, the insurgents stormed their homes from two main directions, overwhelming the local vigilantes that worked tirelessly in vain to repel Boko Haram to other areas, said Umar, a Gumisuri agent. He says he walked for four good days to save his dear life. ‘’They burned down our village and kidnapped our women and children, ‘’ said Ari. Another witness claims that the militants used heavy guns to kill the residents and used gasoline canisters to torch down their houses.

 

We lost our loved ones in the horrific attack. I did not manage to escape with my valuables except the clothes I am wearing, said Kalli. Thousands of residents fled to Gumsuri and continue to travel to Maiduguri – a place struggling to accommodate the large number of residents fleeing from the chaos since their homes have been destroyed. In

In other news, the Cameroonian army says that they managed to kill more than 100 Boko Haram insurgents in a boarder in northeastern on Wednesday. This happened when the insurgents tried to invade Amchide, a busy town in Cameroon, said Lt. Col. Didier Badjeck. They managed to gun down one soldier and another is still missing after they managed to evade the attack, according to statements made by Badjeck. The insurgents managed to steal a truck and destroyed two military trucks, said Badjeck. According to Badjeck, the military caused unspecified harm to the insurgents that manned the northeastern Nigeria boarder. ‘’Our men meticulously fought away the insurgents and forced them to retreat, said the Cameroonian state official spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary.

“The group has only one clear objective; to ensure they spread uncertainty and fear among the population. But you can trust us that we shall do our best to eliminate their stronghold till they are crushed down.” said Bakary. According to official reports, the Cameroonian government officials clashed with Boko Haram in Limani, Cameroon two months ago. Five Cameroonian forces and over 100 Boko Haram insurgents were killed in the deadly clash, the Cameroon State broadcaster reported.

Campaign of fear and uncertainty

The insurgents have been terrorizing northern Nigeria since early 2009, attacking churches, civilians, police, government buildings and even the police. This month along, a female insurgent killed 6 people in Maiduguri and last month, suicide bombers killed more than 200 people. They attacked a mosque and killed many civilians who were worshipping. The insurgents basically targeted mainstream Islam followers, saying that they don’t represent the 80 million Muslim population in Nigeria. They say that mainstream Islam perverts the religion, said an official who asked for anonymity to protect his identity.

In April this year, the insurgents drew international criticism after they kidnapped schoolchildren, mostly girls who where then sold into inhuman slavery. The insurgents have killed at least 4,000 people since they started killing innocent women and children. This is a report according to a U.S. based congressional report, hence makes it the world’s most wanted terrorist organization. Many people wonder why the insurgent attack mosques and yet they claim that they are religious fighters. The insurgents attacked many establishments, accusing them of perverting the religion and not defending their interests. A prominent member of one establishment is a former governor, who often preaches at the mosque on the weekends. The governor was outside the country when the mosque was attacked by the insurgents, but earlier on he had urged the people of Nigeria to fight of the insurgent in any way they can.

 

IMF POLICIES AND AFRICAN HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

Ebola outbreak is a major health crisis which threatens most of the countries in the world at present. Thousands of people have already died, both medical practitioners and ordinary citizens, because of the Ebola virus. As of today, there are still plenty of discussions as to who or what should be blamed for the worsening of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, but people believe different things. As a result, up to this day, the public still has not reached any definite conclusion yet.

While it is true that the Ebola epidemic is political in nature, it would also be safe to conclude that it also poses a lot of economic threats for the countries affected by Ebola and those areas around it. As the death toll increases in West Africa, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea continuously face great revenue shortfalls and other financial difficulties.

According to the analysis of several researchers from Cambridge University, Oxford University, and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the worsening of the Ebola outbreak can be attributed partly to the shortcomings of the International Monetary Fund policies and programmes that have caused the financial immune deficiency of West Africa.

It has been found by the UK-based researchers that the rapid outbreak of Ebola is directly rooted from the policies of International Monetary Fund that have left healthcare facilities and systems in Africa underfunded. Because of this, health systems have not been able to cope with the Ebola outbreak effectively, resulting to the death of thousands of Ebola-stricken individuals.

The researchers claimed that the policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund have made it difficult to employ healthcare workers in West Africa. The study had mentioned that Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea were not able to employ doctors and pay them sufficiently, while the decentralised health systems made it almost impossible to put into action coordinated responses to the outbreak of the infectious disease. They also explained that the required economic reforms pressed by the Monetary Fund weakened the healthcare systems in the said three countries. As a response, IMF’s spokesman claimed otherwise by saying that it was all just a misunderstanding. He said that the mandate of International Monetary Fund did not encapsulate public health; therefore, it is not true that IMF policies have a link to the major health crisis in Africa. He further explained that the International Monetary Fund had provided $130 million dollars worth of financial assistance to the areas affected by the outbreak, and that IMF will give the same amount to the three areas in West Africa heavily affected by Ebola next year.

Rest assured, none of this is to say that the International Monetary Fund is wholly responsible for the outbreak. Various factors also need to be taken into account in examining the causes of the worsening of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa; but although the political and socioeconomic aspects are to be paid much needed attention to in examining this issue, the international community also have to recognize the need for the revision of the IMF fiscal and its monetary policies.

 

Source:

AFP. (2014). IMF Policies blamed for weak Ebola response.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/ebola/11307252/IMF-policies-blamed-for-weak-Ebola-response.html

LEADING SENIOR PHYSICAN DIES OF EBOLA

Author and lecturer Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”. It is indeed a glorious endeavour to put other people’s welfare before one’s self; but what if this venture reaches the stage where a strong pull between life and death takes place? Can helping people still be considered as a noble cause worthy of all the sacrifices?

Doctor Victor Willoughby, one of Sierra Leone’s top physicians, has recently become the 11th doctor who had died because of the dreaded Ebola virus. Doctor Willoughby, after being diagnosed with Ebola on December 13, died on Thursday, December 18. Many volunteers and healthcare workers, especially those whom the senior physician had mentored, grew disappointed upon the doctor’s death hours before the ZMAb, an experimental drug developed in Canada, had arrived in West Africa. Few weeks ago, two doctors from the United States who have showed symptoms of Ebola have been responsive to the experimental drug, and so, most healthcare workers stationed in West Africa hoped that this could increase Willoughby’s chances of survival. Many hoped that the 67-year-old doctor would actually be able to survive had the experimental drug arrived sooner. Unfortunately, before the dose of ZMAb could be administered, the doctor had already died.

Ebola is a highly infectious and fatal disease which can be acquired through human-to-human interactions. This acute illness spreads through direct contact from one person to another through blood, bodily fluids, mucous membrane, secretions, and clothing contaminated with infected people’s fluids. It is for this reason why many health-care workers and volunteers have died days after assisting and treating people infected with EVD. Most people also refer to Ebola as the “caregiver’s disease” due to the fact that it is commonly transmitted to those individuals who care for those who suffer from the disease’s symptoms.

It is, indeed, incredibly depressing and frustrating how those people who are helping those individuals who are Ebola-infected are the ones suffering the symptoms of the said disease.

This death of one of Africa’s health workers is not something new for it is something which has actually been happening for quite some time ever since the Ebola outbreak has started. Over 350 healthcare workers have died because of the said virus, and up to this day, the number of victims who belong in the medicine industry is still increasing. In this case, it is important to note that if West Africa citizens are falling as victims of the virus as fast as health practitioners because this implies that the outbreak of Ebola is far worse than what most people know.

Being a healthcare worker is a demanding yet rewarding task. At present, many healthcare workers sacrifice their own health and safety to help those in need. What the international community ought to do now is to aid them in addressing Ebola and give much needed help to all the people suffering because of the Ebola virus.