A special panel named by the National Human Rights Commission launched an investigation on Tuesday, into the recent Reuters reports on rights abuses by the Nigerian Army. The commission-appointed panel, headed by a former Supreme Court justice and including a former major general, is investigating two Reuters articles published last year. The news agency reported on 7 December 2022 that the army has run a secret program of coerced abortions in the country’s northeast, where it has been battling Islamist insurgents since 2009. The program has ended the pregnancies of at least 10,000 women and girls freed from insurgent captivity, according to witness accounts and documents. On 12 December, citing dozens of witnesses, Reuters reported that the army intentionally killed children in the war, under a presumption they were, or would become, terrorists. Nigerian military leaders denied the existence of the program.

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu told Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele that the new naira notes scarcity may disrupt the 2023 elections. In a meeting on Tuesday, he explained that many service providers to INEC had no bank accounts. He, therefore, asked for the bank regulator’s support to address the concern related to the cash withdrawal policy which had caused chaos across the country. Yakubu said the service providers needed to be paid in full or in part. “There are crucial areas such as transportation and human support services that have to be immediately enumerated, either partially or in full because services are rendered,” he made in remarks made available to journalists. The CBN governor said the cash would be made available for the payment of the service providers.

Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo announced changes to his cabinet on Tuesday, a month after former Trade Minister, Alan Kyerematen and Agric Minister Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto resigned to focus on their political campaigns. Some of the key movements, which saw new appointments as well as a reshuffle, include Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, K.T Hammond who is the new Minister-designate for Trade and Industry. Member of Parliament for Abetifi, Brian Acheampong has been appointed Minister-designate for Food and Agriculture. Member of Parliament for Karaga, Mohammed Amin Adam, who was stationed at the Energy Ministry as deputy Minister is Minister of State at the Finance Ministry. Others are Herbert Krapah, who was Deputy Minister at the Trade Ministry and has been moved to the Energy Ministry as Deputy Minister-designate, as well as Dr Stephen Amoah, who is now Deputy Minister-designate for Trade and Industry

Sub-Saharan Africa is the new global epicentre of violent Islamic extremism, with people increasingly joining because of economic factors, according to a new report by the U.N.’s international development agency (UNDP). There has been a 57 percent decrease in the number of people joining extremist groups for religious reasons. A significant 92 percent of new recruits are joining for better livelihoods compared to the motivations of those interviewed in a 2017 report. The region accounted for 48% of global terrorism deaths in 2021. Nearly 2,200 people were interviewed for the report in eight African countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, and Sudan. More than 1,000 interviewees are former members of violent extremist groups, both voluntary and forced recruits, said the report. Those interviewed were drawn from various extremist groups across the continent including Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Shabab in Somalia, which pledges allegiance to al-Qaeda, and in West Africa Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen, or JNIM, which is allied to the Islamic State group. At least 4,155 attacks across Africa were documented since 2017, said the report. In these attacks, 18,417 deaths were recorded with Somalia accounting for the largest number of fatalities.