13 killed, 7 wounded by gunmen Senegal's restive Casamance region

Senegalese military says 13 people have been killed by gunmen in the southern Casamance region, where a rebellion by independentists has been raging since 1982 despite a peace accord signed in 2004. (AFP)
Updated 07 January 2018
0

13 killed, 7 wounded by gunmen Senegal's restive Casamance region

DAKAR: Gunmen killed at least 13 people Saturday in Senegal who were gathering firewood in the forest, the military said. It was the worst attack in years in the West African nation’s restive southern region, where a separatist insurgency has dragged on for more than three decades.
The bloodshed sparked fears of renewed unrest in the area, which had been relatively calm for the last several years.
Col. Abdoul Ndiaye said late Saturday that seven others were wounded in the massacre 4 miles (7 kilometers) outside of the town of Ziguinchor, and the military stepped up its presence near the town. Casamance is separated from the rest of Senegal by the nation of Gambia.
While no immediate claim of responsibility for the slayings was made, suspicion fell on the separatist group founded in 1982 known as the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance.
The armed wing of the group had agreed to a cease-fire in 2014, and the last major attack blamed on the group had been in 2013 when rebels took 12 employees of a South African bomb disposal firm hostage. The victims, all Senegalese citizens, were eventually released.
Saturday’s deaths came just hours after the release of two prisoners belonging to the separatist group following negotiations that were mediated by the Community of Sant’Egidio.
The separatists have long argued that their region is culturally distinct from the rest of Senegal, and has suffered from inattentive governments in the country’s capital, Dakar.


Thousands of protesters try to storm Georgia parliament

Updated 1 min 6 sec ago
0

Thousands of protesters try to storm Georgia parliament

  • Tens of thousands rallied in Tbilisi, demanding speaker Irakli Kobakhidze step down after a Russian lawmaker addressed the country’s parliament from the speaker’s seat
  • The Russian MP’s presence in Georgia’s parliament prompted outrage in the ex-Soviet nation which in 2008 fought and lost a brief but bloody war with Moscow over breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia

TBILISI: Thousands of protesters attempted Thursday to storm the Georgian parliament in Tbilisi, furious that a Russian lawmaker addressed the assembly from the speaker’s seat during an international event.
Demanding that the parliamentary speaker resign, about 10,000 protesters broke riot police cordons to enter the parliament courtyard, an AFP reporter witnessed. Police pushed them back, but several protesters continued trying to enter the building.
Earlier, tens of thousands rallied in central Tbilisi, demanding speaker Irakli Kobakhidze step down after a Russian lawmaker controversially addressed the country’s parliament from the speaker’s seat.
Russian Communist lawmaker Sergei Gavrilov was speaking during an annual meeting of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO), a forum of lawmakers from predominantly Orthodox countries.
The Russian MP’s presence in fiercely pro-Western Georgia’s parliament prompted outrage in the ex-Soviet nation which in 2008 fought and lost a brief but bloody war with Moscow over breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
A group of Georgian opposition lawmakers demanded the Russian delegation leave the parliament’s plenary chamber.
Many protesters held Georgian and EU flags and placards that read “Russia is an occupier.”
“This is a spontaneous protest by ordinary Georgians, it has not been organized by any political party,” an MP from opposition European Georgia party, Giga Bokeria, told AFP at the rally.
Georgian oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili — widely believed to be calling the shots in Georgia as the leader of his ruling Georgian Dream party — said in a statement that he “fully shares the sincere outrage of the Georgian citizens.”
He added that he told the speaker to suspend the session.
“It is unacceptable that a representative of the occupier country chairs a forum in the Georgian parliament,” Ivanishvili said.