Nearly 1,400 followers of the jihadist group Boko Haram have been intercepted while fleeing into Niger, following clashes with a rival Islamic State group, according to the Army. The exodus into southeastern Niger started in March when the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) pursued Boko Haram in its forest hideout of Sambisa, northeastern Niger. Niger’s armed forces have so far caught 1,397 people, many of them women and children, according to a statement from the army’s southeastern region, seen by AFP. They have been handed over to the Nigerian military authorities, it said. “Around 30 terrorists” who refused to surrender were killed, it added. The Boko Haram followers were trying to reach the marshlands of the vast Lake Chad region, whose islands have long been a bolthole for jihadists.
The United Kingdom’s Supreme Court ruled that it was too late for Nigerian claimants to sue two Shell subsidiaries over a 2011 offshore oil spill they say had a devastating long-term impact on the coastal area where they live. The action stemmed from the leakage of an estimated 40,000 barrels of crude oil on 20 December 2011, during the loading of an oil tanker at Shell’s giant Bonga oil field, 120 km off the delta coast. A group of 27,800 individuals and 457 communities have been trying to sue Shell, saying the resulting oil slick polluted their lands and waterways, damaging farming, fishing, drinking water, mangrove forests and religious shrines. But a panel of five Supreme Court justices unanimously upheld rulings by two lower courts that found they had brought their case after the expiry of a six-year legal deadline for taking action. The claimants’ lawyers had argued that the ongoing consequences of the pollution represented a “continuing nuisance,” but the Supreme Court rejected the claimants’ submission.
The Electoral Commission (EC) says it will not supervise the National Democratic Congress’ primaries scheduled for Saturday, 13 May, until all legal issues associated with it are resolved. According to the EC, going ahead to organise the primaries will be disrespecting the judiciary since it amounts to contempt of court. The EC made this known on Wednesday after it met agents of all three NDC flagbearer hopefuls. Dr Kwabena Duffour, an aspirant of the presidential primaries, filed a suit against the party following what he says are some discrepancies his team has identified in the party’s voters register to be used for the exercise.
Two people died and many were injured during clashes between riot police and anti-government protesters in Guinea’s capital Conakry, two doctors who worked in a city clinic and a human rights advocate told Reuters. Demonstrators threw stones and burned makeshift barricades, the latest in a string of protests since a 2021 coup by the military, which has dragged its feet on promises to hand back power to civilians. The two doctors, who asked not to be named, said they received two people who had died during the clashes. A police spokesperson did not confirm the deaths but said that about 20 police were injured. A committee of opposition groups, civil society organisations and activists had called for peaceful demonstrations on Wednesday and Thursday in Conakry and elsewhere.