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Nigeria: Biafra, Oduduwa separatists establish a force of armed fighters

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An image from the video posted on Monday, June 14, 2021.

ENUGU — Biafra and Yoruba group that are advocating for independent states in a part of Nigeria, have launched a force of volunteers after “joint training of personnel from both sides”.

The recent development followed after the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the east, and Yoruba One Voice (YOV) in the southwest of the country, formed an alliance to continue their quest for sovereign states of Biafra and Oduduwa.

A video posted to social media on Monday, June 14, 2021, shows the armed fighters holding the flags of Biafra and Oduduwa, as they make statements in their ethnic languages.

While the location of the training ground where the video was taken is still unknown, the fighters in a statement said their mission is to “secure the territories of Southern Nigeria against ‘foreign Fulani terrorists and any unwarranted aggression from any external force.”

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The statement signed by the ‘Biafra and Oduduwa Volunteer Force for the liberation of Southern Nigeria’, reads:

“This is to put the Nigeria Government and her security agencies in Nigeria on notice that Biafra and Oduduwa has further strengthened their bond as one people, following the joint training of personnel from both sides. These joint volunteer force will secure the territories of Southern Nigeria against ‘foreign Fulanis terrorists and any unwarranted aggression from any external force.

“Oduduwa and Biafra Volunteer Force demand immediate end to the ongoing genocide against the people of Biafra and immediate demilitarisation of Biafraland as we are now ready to defend our territories against aggression. The killing and abduction in Biafra and Oduduwa land must stop immediately.

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“We reiterate that an attack on Oduduwa land is an attack on Biafra and an attack on Biafra is an attack on Oduduwa. This is the bond the Fulanis tried for many years to destroy but today, the new generation of Oduduwa and Biafra have risen to say no to divide and rule. We are on the threshold of history because we are stronger together. Today we have trained together, dined together and drank together. Should duty call for it, we shall die together in defense of the entire South. We shall defend our land together, this is historic day for both nations.”

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Bad government, escalating insecurity and killings by jihadist Fulani herders in Nigeria appear to be strengthening separatist movements across the country.

Experts warn the country will experience another civil war if the government continues to use force against the separatists calling for a referendum.

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Markets, roads closed in southeast Nigeria in solidarity with Kanu

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Cemetery market in Aba, Abia State

Residents of south-eastern Nigeria have closed markets and some entry points into cities in solidarity with Biafran pro-independence leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who is now before the Federal High Court in Abuja for trial.

Some international markets in Abia, Onitsha, Nnewi and others, including entry points to some cities, were closed in the early hours of Monday July 26, 2021.

The separatist leader who had fled to Israel in 2017 when his home was raided by soldiers who killed many civilians in an attempt to assassinate him, faces charges of treason and other unfounded crimes, for calling for a referendum on the independent state of Biafra in the east of the country.

Nnamdi Kanu

He was seized in Kenya and illegally repatriated to the Nigeria.

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US citizens arrested in Nigeria for taking photos during Kanu’s trial

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Nigeria's Department of State Services personnel

ABUJA — Two foreigners suspected of being American journalists were arrested Monday July 26 in Nigeria for having taken photos on the eve of the trial of Biafran pro- independence leader Nnamdi Kanu.

According to the report, the two men were arrested by the country’s secret service — Department of State Services at a hotel, Treasure Suites, opposite the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.

The Peoples Gazette reports that a phone belonging to another man in the hotel was seized by the DSS, who accuses him of following the trial of the separatist leader from the hotel.

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“They even entered the hotel and got the manager to show them their CCTV footage to be able to locate one of the men and seized his phone,” a police officer told Peoples Gazette at the scene.

The Nigerian had announced banned on international and other media from covering the trial of Mr. Kanu in court.

A statement signed by Chief Information Officer, Catherine Oby Christopher on Monday noted that the DSS has only accredited 10 Nigerian media organizations, namely: ThisDay, Premium Times, The Nation, Daily Independent, The Herald, National Television Authority , Continental Television, African Independent Television, Daily Post and Channels Television.

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No reason was given by authorities who refused to comment on the sudden violation of press freedom and citizens’ rights to monitor a trial.

Nnamdi Kanu, human rights activist is currently being held in the Nigeria’s Department of State Services detention center in Abuja after being seized in Kenya and illegally repatriated to the country.

The separatist leader who had fled to Israel in 2017 when his home was raided by soldiers who killed many civilians in an attempt to assassinate him, faces charges of treason and other unfounded crimes, for calling for a referendum on the independent state of Biafra in the east of the country.

ALSO READ:   Police deny arresting pro-Biafra members in Enugu
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Man accused of trying to kill Mali president dies in custody

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Goita was whisked away by his security detail, and later appeared on state TV to say he was doing "very well", downplaying the significance of the assault.

A man accused of trying to kill Mali’s military strongman Assimi Goita, the figure behind two coups in less than a year, has died in custody, the government said on Sunday.

The suspect, whose identity has not been revealed, had been taken into custody following the assassination attempt at Bamako’s Grand Mosque on Tuesday.

“During investigations… his health deteriorated” and he was then hospitalised, but “unfortunately, he has died,” the government said in a statement.

It added that an autopsy had been immediately ordered to determine the cause of death.

A man armed with a knife lunged at Goita after prayers for Eid al-Adha on Tuesday, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

Goita was whisked away by his security detail, and later appeared on state TV to say he was doing “very well”, downplaying the significance of the assault.

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“That’s part of being a leader, there are always malcontents,” he said.

“There are people who at any time may want to try things to cause instability.”

His attacker, a young-looking man dressed in jeans and a white shirt, was apprehended at the scene and taken away by the Malian intelligence services.

The suspect was never presented to judicial authorities, a source requesting anonymity told AFP on Sunday.

His identity was not revealed, but commissioner Sadio Tomoda said late Tuesday that he was a teacher, without elaborating.

Prosecutors had opened an inquiry into the incident.

On Sunday, the government said the suspect’s death was not an obstacle to continuing the investigation, “especially since preliminary evidence and intelligence gathered indicate that he was not an isolated element”.

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– Political instability –

The attack capped months of political turmoil in a country that has rarely enjoyed stability since gaining independence from France in 1960.

Goita, a special forces colonel in his late thirties, headed a putsch last August that ousted elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita after weeks of protests over graft and a bloody jihadist insurgency.

The junta, in the face of international condemnation, handed power to a civilian-led transitional government that promised to restore civilian rule in February 2022.

But in late May, Goita, who was vice president in the transitional government, ousted president Bah Ndaw and premier Moctar Ouane, saying they had sought to “sabotage” the handover.

In June, with Goita as interim president, a new government was unveiled, with military figures in key roles.

As the African Union and the West African regional bloc ECOWAS piled on pressure, Goita vowed the government would uphold all commitments and pledged to stage “credible, fair and transparent elections”.

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Mali’s neighbours and allies have been viewing the crisis with disquiet, fearing the impact on efforts to stem a jihadist insurgency that is unfurling across the Sahel region.

The bloody campaign erupted in the north of Mali in 2012, and has since spread to Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes.

France, the mainstay of the anti-jihadist operation, has been especially critical of the military takeover in Mali.

It suspended military cooperation after the second coup and then announced a major drawdown of its 5,100-man Barkhane mission.

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