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Niger Beefs Up Border Watch After “Refugee Influx” From Nigeria

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Niger Beefs Up Border Watch

The Sahel state of Niger said on Thursday it had sent security reinforcements to part of its border struggling with an influx of displaced people and criminals from neighbouring Nigeria.

The measures have been taken in the Maradi area on the southern-central part of the border, which abuts the northwestern Nigerian state of Zamfara.

“We are currently registering many refugees, whole families who are coming over,” Maradi Governor Zakari Oumarou told state television.

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“We are (also) facing a new situation, of kidnappings for ransom.”

The “refugees” were mainly coming from Zamfara, he said, but did not give numbers or say why they were fleeing to Niger.

“We are in the process of focussing on security on our border. We have deployed plenty of units on the border and we will continue to do so.”

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Oumara added: “We are going to continue to receive refugees, but there are bad people among them. So we will have to filter them, and we are doing that.”

Local communities should “take extreme care… and be vigilant,” he said.

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Northeastern Nigeria is in the grip of a jihadist insurgency that has also spread into Niger, but cross-border problems from Zamfara, in the northwest, have typically been rare.

A Maradi resident told AFP that regions all along the border with Nigeria were now prone to cross-frontier crime, particular cattle theft by “armed Nigerian gangs.”

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African News

Zimbabwe: Government, Civil Servants Agree Salary Deal

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Zimbabwe: Government, Civil Servants Agree Salary Deal

Zimbabwe government and civil servants have finally agreed to a salary accord after the government increased its offer to four hundred million dollars, up by fifty million.

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This means government workers and civil servants will each receive an increment of a hundred twenty-nine dollars effective on April the first.

Negotiations for a further salary review, possibly in June, will continue with consideration of other non-monetary incentives.

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Apex council chairperson, Cecilia Alexander, says the welfare negotiations will continue until the welfare of civil servants improved.

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Niger’s Top Court Outlaws ‘Fifth Wife’ Sex-Slave Maids

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Niger's Top Court Outlaws 'Fifth Wife' Sex-Slave Maids

Niger’s top court has outlawed the practice of keeping women as maids and sex slaves known as “fifth wives.”  This ends a decade-long legal battle by one victim that lawyers say could inspire others in the West African nation to seek justice.

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UK-based anti-slavery international, says the “fifth wife” custom, also known as “wahaya,” is when, in addition to the four wives permitted by Islam, rich men take on other, unofficial wives who live as domestic and sexual slaves.

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Thomson-Reuters Foundation says a Nigerien court had initially ruled in favor of the victim’s master, but she appealed the decision.  Last month, the Niger court of appeals ruled that her first marriage was never valid and that all “fifth wife” marriages are illegal.

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African News

Gunmen Abduct Student Football Team In Cameroon

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Gunmen Abduct Student Football Team In Cameroon

Gunmen have abducted twenty University of Buea male football team members in Cameroon’s southwest. A report says university Vice-Chancellor, Ngono Horace Manga, has confirmed the incident.

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The Vice-Chancellor is quoted as saying armed men stormed the university’s football ground and ordered the players who were training for an upcoming competition to leave with them.

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Manga also said the kidnappers contacted university authorities and demanded a ransom.  He did not disclose the amount for which they were asking.

No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

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