Boko Haram displaced protest poor conditions in Nigeria camp

A photo taken on September 10, 2017, shows Nigerian refugees at a UN camp for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDP) in NGagam, some 50km from Diffa, southeast Niger, close to the Nigerian border. (AFP)
Updated 24 September 2017
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Boko Haram displaced protest poor conditions in Nigeria camp

KANO: Thousands of Nigerians uprooted from their homes by the Boko Haram insurgency hit the streets of Maiduguri Sunday in protest at food shortages and poor conditions in their refugee camp, demanding they be allowed to go home.
More than 2.6 million people have been displaced by the deadly violence in northeastern Nigeria that erupted eight years ago, forcing them into camps and host communities.
Around 3,000 people living in Dalori camp joined the protest in Maiduguri, the epicenter of the insurgency, denouncing food and water shortages as well as “appalling” living conditions.
The protesters, from Borno state’s second largest town Bama, urged the authorities to allow them to return home and rebuild their shattered lives.
“We are protesting to demand our right to return to our homes in Bama because of the appalling conditions in the camp,” Babagana Mohammed told AFP.
“We have no food, no water and our children don’t go to school,” said the 32-year-old father of five.
Mohammed also said he wondered why those displaced from other towns, such as Gwoza, Dikwa and Gamboru, were allowed to return home.

But police and the military blocked them from heading to the governor’s office.
“All we ask for is to be allowed to return to Bama,” protester Kulo Gana said.
“We need to go back and rebuild our homes, grow our food because we are tired of living in Maiduguri in abject poverty and untold suffering,” Gana said.
“We have all it takes to start a new life back home,” said another protester Mohammed Kassim.
Bama was home to 270,000 residents and a major trading hub on the road to Cameroon before it was captured by Boko Haram in September 2014.
When it was retaken by the Nigerian military in March last year, 85 percent of the town had been destroyed by the jihadists.
Borno state officials said it would require 40 billion naira (94 million euros, $111 million) to rebuild the town, a staggering amount in the impoverished region.

Funding shortages have forced aid agencies to scale back their operations in the region, compounding the dire humanitarian situation with more than five million people under threat of hunger and possible famine.
A cholera outbreak has also ravaged the camps, where 44 people have died over the past month.
The United Nations said it would need around $10 million to contain the outbreak and improve the supply of clean water and sanitation to the camps.
The lack of food forced some to return home at the start of the rainy season to grow crops after losing three seasons in a row.
But they have come under increasing attack by Boko Haram fighters, who kill and abduct them from their farms.
Mohammed seemed undeterred by the threat of attacks, and insisted he be allowed to go home.
“The suffering is too much and it is better to return home, repair our homes and our lives and fight off Boko Haram,” he said.


Taliban bomb-maker jailed for 40 years for UK parliament plot

In this file photo taken on April 27, 2017 firearms officers from the British police detain a man, later named as Khalid Mohammed Omar Ali, on Whitehall near the Houses of Parliament in central London. (AFP)
Updated 3 min 57 sec ago
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Taliban bomb-maker jailed for 40 years for UK parliament plot

  • The FBI in the United States subsequently matched his fingerprints to caches of explosives recovered by Afghan forces in 2012
  • The court heard Ali admitted involvement in making explosives in Afghanistan

LONDON: A 28-year-old man was sentenced Friday to a minimum of 40 years in jail for making explosives for the Taliban and for plotting a knife attack at the Houses of Parliament in London.
Khalid Ali, from north London, was dramatically arrested by armed police on a street outside parliament in April 2017 with three blades tucked into his clothes.
He was moments from launching an attack on police, politicians or the military, England’s Old Bailey central criminal court in London heard during his trial last month.
The plumber was on Tuesday found guilty of preparing terrorist acts in Britain and two charges of possessing explosive substances with intent abroad.
On Friday, judge Nicholas Hilliard handed Ali three life sentences, to run concurrently: one for each charge.
He gave a minimum of 40 years for making improvised explosive devices for the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan in 2012 and 25 years for the plot to kill in Britain.
“I am absolutely sure you were in Afghanistan. You were a valued member of a team making IEDs that were detonated in combat before January and July 2012,” Hilliard said.
The judge said the plotted attack in London was designed to attract “maximum publicity and instil terror.”
“I have no doubt whatsoever that there is a very considerable risk of your committing offenses of violence in the future and cause death or serious injury as a result.”
During the trial, prosecutor Brian Altman told jurors that Ali, who had returned to Britain from Afghanistan in late 2016, planned a “deadly terror attack at the very heart of this country’s democracy.”
Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Dean Haydon said he was “an incredibly dangerous individual.”
He had returned from a training camp in Afghanistan “with a determination to kill,” he added.
In police interviews, Ali said he wanted to deliver a “message” to British authorities.
“Jihad is what we do,” he told officers.
During his trial, the court heard Ali admitted involvement in making explosives in Afghanistan, even bragging he detonated more than 300 devices.
In November 2016, he was stopped at Heathrow Airport, interviewed by police and his fingerprints and DNA samples were taken.
The FBI in the United States subsequently matched his fingerprints to caches of explosives recovered by Afghan forces in 2012, and Ali was placed under surveillance in Britain.
The Old Bailey heard he was seen conducting reconnaissance at various sites around London in March and April last year, before making several purchases of knives.
Police moved in to arrest Ali on April 27 not far from Prime Minister Theresa May’s Downing Street office.