Boko Haram kidnaps wife of Cameroon’s vice PM

Updated 28 July 2014

Boko Haram kidnaps wife of Cameroon’s vice PM

YAOUNDE: The wife of Cameroon’s vice prime minister was kidnapped and at least three people were killed in an attack by Boko Haram militants on in the northern town of Kolofata on Sunday, Cameroon officials said.
A local religious leader, or lamido, named Seini Boukar Lamine, who is also the town’s mayor, was kidnapped as well, in a separate attack on his home.
Boko Haram, the Nigerian militant group, has stepped up cross-border attacks into Cameroon in recent weeks as Cameroon has deployed troops to the region, joining international efforts to combat the militants.
“I can confirm that the home of Vice Prime Minister Amadou Ali in Kolofata came under a savage attack from Boko Haram militants,” Issa Tchiroma said by telephone.
“They unfortunately took away his wife. They also attacked the lamido’s residence and he was also kidnapped,” he said, and at least three people were killed in the attack.
A Cameroon military commander in the region said that the vice prime minister, who was at home to celebrate the Muslim feast of Ramadan with his family, was taken to a neighboring town by security officials.
“The situation is very critical here now, and as I am talking to you the Boko Haram elements are still in Kolofata town in a clash with our soldiers,” said Col. Felix Nji Formekong, the second commander of Cameroon’s third inter-army military region, based in the regional headquarters Maroua.
The Sunday attack is the third Boko Haram attack into Cameroon since Friday. At least four soldiers were killed in the previous attacks. Meanwhile, some 22 suspected Boko Haram militants, who have been held in Maroua since March, were on Friday sentenced to prison sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years. It was unclear whether the events are related.
Earlier, Boko Haram have executed 12 people including a village chief in a remote part of northeastern Nigeria.
The attackers entered the village of Garubula, in Biu district, late Wednesday and dragged their victims out of their homes before shooting them, the residents said.
“They killed 12 people including the village chief whom they shot in the head,” said resident Mallam Idrissa said.
Wednesday also saw bombings in north-central Kaduna blamed on Boko Haram in which 42 people died while the presumed targets of the attacks — a prominent cleric and a former head of state — escaped with their lives.
Boko Haram, which is seeking to install an extremist Islamic state in Nigeria, has recently stepped up attacks on remote villages in the northeast.
Dozens of Boko Haram gunmen raided the town of Rann in Borno state on the border with Cameroon on Friday, meeting fierce resistance, residents said.


Ethiopia says suspects confessed to killing popular singer

Updated 47 min 48 sec ago

Ethiopia says suspects confessed to killing popular singer

  • Hachala Hundessa became a symbol of the Oromo struggle during years of anti-government protests that swept Abiy to power in 2018
  • Though Abiy is Ethiopia’s first Oromo head of state, Oromo nationalists accuse him of insufficiently championing their interests since taking office

ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia’s attorney general said Friday that two men had confessed to killing a popular singer from the Oromo ethnic group as part of a plot to topple Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government.
Hachala Hundessa became a symbol of the Oromo struggle during years of anti-government protests that swept Abiy to power in 2018.
His shooting death last week sparked days of protests and ethnic violence that killed 239 people, according to police figures.
“The assassination was intended to be a cover to take power from the incumbent by force,” attorney general Abebech Abbebe said in a statement Friday aired on state television, without providing details.
Though Abiy is Ethiopia’s first Oromo head of state, Oromo nationalists accuse him of insufficiently championing their interests since taking office, a complaint echoed by many protesters last week.
Abebech said that along with the two men who have allegedly confessed to the crime, the government has identified a third suspect who remains on the run.
One of the men in custody identified the masterminds of the alleged plot as members of a rebel group the government believes is affiliated with the opposition Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) political party, Abebech said.
The OLF, a former rebel movement, returned to Ethiopia from exile after Abiy took office and has repeatedly disavowed any links to armed insurgents.
The Internet remained shut off Friday for an 11th consecutive day, though Addis Ababa remains calm and Abiy’s office issued a statement saying the surrounding Oromia region had “returned to calm and citizens have resumed normal activities.”
In her statement, however, Abebech said unnamed agitators were calling for additional protests and road blockages in the coming days.
“There are those that have hidden themselves in nice places but are calling on Ethiopian youth to fight each other, close roads and to cease working as part of a rebellion call,” Abebech said.
“Above all we call on our people to disobey this rebellion call and to thwart it.”