Gunmen Kidnap Dozens of Villagers in Northwestern Nigeria

MAIDUGURI, NIGERIA - Gunmen abducted at least 60 people in northwestern Nigeria after riding motorbikes into five villages and firing sporadically into the air, a police official and several residents said Saturday.Nigeria is battling an increase in armed robberies and kidnappings for ransom, mainly in northwestern areas, where thinly stretched security forces often fail to stop the abductions.The latest kidnapping took place in Zamfara state overnight Friday, said regional police…

Gunmen Kidnap Dozens of Villagers in Northwestern Nigeria

MAIDUGURI, NIGERIA - Gunmen abducted at least 60 people in northwestern Nigeria after riding motorbikes into five villages and firing sporadically into the air, a police official and several residents said Saturday.Nigeria is battling an increase in armed robberies and kidnappings for ransom, mainly in northwestern areas, where thinly stretched security forces often fail to stop the abductions.The latest kidnapping took place in Zamfara state overnight Friday, said regional police…

Extreme Weather Becoming the Norm, Not the Exception

The World Meteorological Organization is calling for action to halt climate change as extreme weather becomes the norm rather than the exception. Heavy rainfall this week has triggered devastating floods across western Europe, killing and injuring scores of people, destroying homes and livelihoods. At the same time, parts of Scandinavia -- northern Europe’s coldest region -- are enduring scorching temperatures.The Finnish Meteorological Institute says Finland had its warmest June on…

Thousands Flee Attacks by Armed Groups in Eastern DRC

The U.N. refugee agency says a series of attacks by armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has forced nearly 20,000 civilians to flee for their lives. More than 100 armed groups, such as the Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces, have been terrorizing communities in the eastern DRC for decades. On May 6, Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi launched a state of emergency in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. Following…

Deadly Rioting Continues in South Africa

Rioting and looting in South Africa continued Wednesday, raising the death toll to more than 70 as defiant protesters ignored government demands to end violence.The unrest was sparked last week when former president Jacob Zuma began serving a 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court after he failed to attend a hearing to answer questions about corruption allegations.Protests over Zuma’s arrest quickly evolved into mass civil unrest, the country’s worst…

Deadly Rioting Continues in South Africa

Rioting and looting in South Africa continued Wednesday, raising the death toll to more than 70 as defiant protesters ignored government demands to end violence.The unrest was sparked last week when former president Jacob Zuma began serving a 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court after he failed to attend a hearing to answer questions about corruption allegations.Protests over Zuma’s arrest quickly evolved into mass civil unrest, the country’s worst…

Malians Divided Over France’s Decision to Close Bases, Reduce Forces

France's recent decision to close some of its military bases and reduce the number of its troops in Mali has sparked mixed reaction from the local population. Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that his country would start closing three military bases in northern Mali by the end of 2021. "These closures will start in the second half of 2021 and be completed by early 2022," Macron said at…

‘Survival Struggle’: Ethnic Standoff Drives New Phase of Tigray War

Asfaw Abera fled his homeland in northwestern Ethiopia three decades ago, stealing away on foot into Sudan as soldiers and ethnic Tigrayan rebels exchanged fire nearby. During his long stretch in exile, Asfaw, an ethnic Amhara, scrubbed toilets in Khartoum office buildings while dreaming night and day of going back. Last month, he finally got his wish, entering the town of Humera on a government-chartered bus, fighting tears as he…