Five Nigerian soldiers died after their vehicle hit a mine suspected to have been planted by Islamic State group-aligned jihadists near the Niger border, security sources said on Wednesday. The unit was on a routine patrol in Laayi village near the northeastern town of Damasak in Borno when they drove over a mine, two militia leaders told AFP. The explosion “killed all five troops on board,” militia leader Babakura Kolo said. The jihadists had attacked the village, kidnapping four residents including the local chief and planting the explosives while retreating, Kolo said. In Benue, armed herdsmen reportedly invaded Opaha Community in Edikwu Ward 2 of Apa Local Government Area, killing 15 people including an army officer. Several people were reported missing and the whole village was said to have been sacked. An unnamed local, who spoke to The Punch on the phone said the attack took place Tuesday evening. Similarly, gunmen reportedly abducted at least 29 villagers in the Kwali Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory. The group, which comprised men, housewives and children, were abducted in the middle of Tuesday night from Yewuti village, the hometown of the immediate past Kwali Area Council vice chairman, Alhaji Zubairu Jibrin Yewuti.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 6.2 million Nigerian children did not receive a single dose of life-saving vaccines from 2019 to 2021. Walter Mulombo, the WHO Country Representative, disclosed this at a media briefing to commemorate the 2023 African Vaccination Week. The Country Representative said the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on routine immunisation services has driven up the number of zero-dose and under-immunised children, rising by 16 percent between 2019 and 2021 and pushing the cumulative total (2019–2021) in Africa to around 33 million or nearly half the global estimate. Mulombo says 33 million children will need to be vaccinated in Africa between 2023 and 2025 to put the continent back on track to achieve the 2030 global immunisation goals.
Some of Ghana’s 2030 Eurobond investors have received coupon payments, which had been due on 14 April, Reuters reports citing an unnamed source with direct knowledge of the matter. The government announced it would default on some of its external debt in December 2022 and has not made payments on its international bonds since. However, the bond maturing in 2030 with a coupon of 10.75 percent is partially guaranteed by the World Bank, so payment kicked in this week via the bank’s International Development Association (IDA). A World Bank spokesperson confirmed that the IDA made the guarantee payment of close to $50 million on 20 April. The $400 million guarantee by the multilateral lender on the $1 billion issue back in 2015 was designed to provide extra security under “challenging market conditions” in case the West African country failed to pay.
Talks between the Ethiopian government and rebels from Oromiya have started in Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania, a spokesman for the regional Africa group Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has said. “The talks are underway in Tanzania as we speak, we hope it will lead to a political agreement,” said Nuur Mohamud Sheekh, the spokesperson for the IGAD Executive Secretary. The unrest in Oromiya is one of several security challenges Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government is working to address after signing a peace deal in November to end a two-year civil war in the northern Tigray region that cost tens of thousands of lives. The talks bring together representatives from the Ethiopian government and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA). The OLA is an outlawed splinter group of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), a formerly banned opposition party.