News from Africa

Sudan 5-24-2017 arms still flow into the country despite the arms embargo

The conflict in the Sudan continues despite weapons embargos imposed by the EU and UN.  The UK based watch-dog group, Conflict Armament Reach (CAR), has issued a report on the effect of the embargos. According the CAR, the heavy fighting in the Darfur was fueled by heavy weapons imported from China and Russia. The Sudanese government appears to be able to import weapons without any hindrance of the embargos. CAR also reported that the Sudan has transferred weapons to rebel factions fighting in South Sudan. Experts also question how the Sudan is financing its purchase of weapons. It is widely believed that the country is inappropriately using aid intended for civilian relief to fund military purchases. Whereas Sudan produces some ammunition which it sells commercially, the campaign group noted that large ammunition from China, appears to have repackaged or their shipping information have been masked to conceal its provenance.

Nigeria 5-23-2017 fraudster wins nominal award of $1

James Ibori has committed fraud at every opportunity when he believed he could get away with it. While lying about his qualifications, he became a state governor in Nigeria. He immediately started misappropriating funds for his own personal use. Prior that he was jailed in the UK for committing a fraud valued at about 40m. Even though he was a convicted fraudster, he turned around and sued the UK. He now has won an award for being improperly imprisoned. Justice Cheema Grubb agreed with his clam that immigration officials had held him illegally for 42 hours and a breach of his rights. Apparently, the officials did not want to release him until the extent of his fraud could be ascertained. He had petitioned for a substantial award, though the court only granted him a nominal amount of $1.00.

Gambia 5-22-2017 ex-leader is accused of stealing millions

The presidential elections, by most standards, was a fair election. The next President would be democratically elected. The candidates had said that they would abide by the results of the voting. The citizens’ decision would be observed. President Jemmeh first conceded that he lost the elections. He then reversed himself and attacked the electoral commission. It seemed like he would not relinquish power. Newly elected President Borrow was sworn in a ceremony that took place outside of the country. After 22 years in power, Jemmeh flew out of the country with “his” cars and other high-valued items. At the time of his departure, it was estimated that he stole about 11 million in state assets. However, Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou said that Mr. Jemmeh had withdrawn $50m between 2006 and 2016. It appears that ex-President Jemmeh has been misappropriating funds while he was in power. The court has frozen all his assets that remain in Gambia. It does not appear that formal charges of corruption have been filed against him.

Nigeria 5-21-2017 82 freed Chibok girls meet their families

Emotions and tears filled the air as 82 girls taken by Boko Haram and recently freed meet with their families for the first time. The girls are part of a larger number of female students who were abducted from their school, which is in the north of the country. The girls as part of an exchange of Boko Haram militants who were in the government’s custody. The girls’ parents traveled through the night in buses to meet their daughters. The meeting took place in the capital. They have been in the custody of security forces. The government has interrogated and debriefed the girls to make sure they do not pose a threat. It has been learned that the girls have been seen by counselors who will make their transition to civil life easier. The Chibok girls represent a small fraction of the people abducted by Boko Haram. Many people who are taken are never heard of again.