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Dozens of bandits neutralized, camps destroyed by air strikes in Kaduna— Commissioner



Suspected bandits kill NIS personnel, injure 2 others in Jigawa

… As KDSG inaugurates justice for children forum***

The Kaduna State Government, on Wednesday, said that dozens of bandits had been neutralized and their camps destroyed by airstrikes in parts of the state.

The Commissioner for  Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, made the disclosure in a statement in Kaduna.

Aruwan said: “Another successful outing has been reported by security forces, as an unspecified number of bandits were neutralized during an aerial assault on identified bandit enclaves around the boundary area with a neighbouring state in Chikun Local Government area.

“According to the operational feedback from the military, the strikes were conducted over-identified locations in Kauwuri and Gaude villages,” Aruwan said.

According to him, the locations were identified as bandit hideouts after thorough checks and analysis of various intelligence reports.

“In the first mission, fighter jets attacked the bandit camps in Kauwuri general area, and armed bandits were observed fleeing from the locations.

“A helicopter gunship then followed for a close mop-up with rockets and cannons,” he explained.

The commissioner explained that in a second wave over Gaude, the air platforms attacked the identified bandit hideouts in the area.

“Bandits were similarly observed attempting to take cover under some trees. The location was then attacked accordingly.”

He said ground forces trailed and engaged the dozens of bandits who fled the location following the airstrikes.

“Assessment revealed that many bandits were neutralized during the entire mission, and several camps destroyed,” Aruwan added.

“Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai welcomed the operational feedback with satisfaction and commended the security forces heartily for the well-executed missions.

“The governor who expressed optimism that more of such would follow urged the forces to sustain the tempo towards obliterating the criminal elements across the state.

“The government is appealing to citizens who might come across suspicious persons seeking medical attention in the general area to report to the Kaduna State Security Operations Room on 09034000060 and 08170189999,” Aruwan said.

In the meantime, Kaduna State Government on Wednesday, inaugurated the state justice for children coordination forum to ensure access to justice for children.

The State Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Baba, said at the inauguration in Kaduna that the forum would work in collaboration with UNICEF to address issues regarding children’s growth and productivity.

Baba, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Steve Joseph, added that the forum would identify areas that affect children’s development in the state.

She said the forum would also proffer solutions on how to ensure justice, especially to minors who are engaged in labour activities.

Baba appealed to the forum members to be dedicated and committed towards achieving set goals and responsibilities.

In his remarks, the UNICEF Chief of Kaduna Field Office, Zakari Adams said the forum would focus on access to justice for children, as many children who committed offences were not given adequate access to fair hearing and justice.

“This is because we do not have a specialized police unit that is trained, and correctional home for children, and no family court,  and that is a problem and we are here to find solutions to the problem,” he said.

According to him, the establishment of the forum would deepen the conversation on the promotion of access to justice for children.

He explained that the forum would ensure promote coordination between law enforcement and justice sectors to specifically address access to justice for children.

The UNICEF chief identified some of the challenges inhibiting access to justice for children to include absence of a legal framework for child justice administration and specialized children police unit.

He said there was urgent need to ensure that vulnerable children, especially survivors of violence and those on the move, had access to a child-friendly justice system, to uphold their rights and punish perpetrators.

Also, the State Chief Judge, Justice Mohammed Bello said all stakeholders must ensure that children get access to justice.

Bello pledged to ensure the establishment of family courts to implement the Child Right Law before the end of his tenure.

On his part, Alhaji Nasiru Magaji, the District Head of Kawo, expressed concern over the high rate of rape of minors in the state and called on parent to be the voice for their children to curtail the menace.

The newsmen report that members of the forum include representatives from ministries of Human Services and Social Development, Education, Health and Judiciary.

It also included the Police, Correctional Service, Immigration, NAPTIP, FIDA, UNICEF and media organizations, among others, as members.


Health and Safety

650 migrants reach Italy by boat, 190 rescued



650 migrants reach Italy by boat, 190 rescued

 About 650 migrants reached the Italian coast in a fishing boat, the latest in increasing attempts to reach the country.

The boat which was about 30 metres long and overloaded, arrived in the southern town of Roccella Ionica, the Italian news agency ANSA reported on Monday.

The report said the boat departed from Libya and its passengers had been travelling for five days.

The passengers were all men who came from Syria, Pakistan, Egypt and Bangladesh, ANSA said.

They reached the Calabrian town unaided, without the involvement of the coast guard or civilian sea rescuers.

Thousands of people arrived in Italy over the weekend. Dozens of others died in the attempt or went missing because their boats capsized.

Meanwhile, the aid organisation Doctors Without Borders brought 190 Mediterranean migrants ashore to the southern Italian city of Bari.

The group’s Geo Barents vessel reached the port on the Adriatic coast previously assigned by Italian authorities late on Sunday afternoon, it said.

The ship picked up people on Friday from an unseaworthy wooden boat, including several unaccompanied minors.

However, many people repeatedly try to reach Lampedusa, Malta, Sicily or the Italian mainland by boats from Tunisia and Libya, crossing the central Mediterranean Sea in a potentially deadly journey.

According to official figures, Italy has already registered more than 21,000 boat migrants since the beginning of January, or more than three times the number of migrants seen in each of the two previous years, when about 6,000 per year arrived.

– dpa

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Health and Safety

African migrants stuck in Tunisia say racism persists, following weeks of crackdown



African migrants stuck in Tunisia say racism persists, following weeks of crackdown

African Migrants in Tunisia have urged their government to evacuate them, saying the country is no longer safe as racism still persists.

Outside the United Nations refugee agency in Tunis, dozens of African migrants stood protesting this week in the temporary camp where they have lived, including with children, since authorities urged landlords to force them from their homes.

Weeks after a violent crackdown on migrants in Tunisia that triggered a perilous rush to leave by smuggler boats for Italy, many African nationals are still homeless and jobless and some say they still face racist attacks.

“We need evacuation. Tunisia is not safe. No one has a future here when you have this colour. It is a crime to have this colour,” said Josephus Thomas, pointing to the skin on his forearm.

In announcing the crackdown on Feb. 21, President Kais Saied said illegal immigration was a criminal conspiracy to change Tunisia’s demography, language the African Union described as “racialised hate speech”.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Barbara Leaf told Reuters on Thursday that Saied’s comments had unleashed “attacks and a tidal wave of racist rhetoric”, with rights groups saying hundreds of migrants reported being attacked or insulted.

Saied and Tunisia’s foreign minister have rejected accusations that he or the government is racist and they announced steps to ease visa regulations for Africans and reminded police of anti-racism laws.

While the official crackdown appeared to end weeks ago, migrants say they still face abuse.

“People told me ‘since you are in our country after the president’s speech, don’t you have any dignity?’ I kept silent and they told me I am dirt,” said Awadhya Hasan Amine, a Sudanese refugee outside the UNHCR headquarters in Tunis.

Amine has lived in Tunis for five years after fleeing Sudan and then Libya with her husband. Now 30, she has been living on the street outside the UNHCR headquarters since local people pelted her house in the capital’s Road district with rocks.

“We want to live in a place of safety, stability and peace. We don’t want problems in Tunisia,” she said.

Although some West African countries evacuated hundreds of their citizens earlier this month, many remain stuck in Tunisia, unable to support themselves let alone afford passage home or pay smugglers hundreds of dollars to ferry them to Europe.

“Tunisia is an African country. Why do they do racist things to us?” said Moumin Sou, from Mali, who was sacked from his job working behind a bar after the president’s speech and was beaten up the next day by a man in the street who stole his money.

Sou wants to return home, he said, but many others are determined to travel on to Europe.

In the wake of the crackdown, in which police detained hundreds of undocumented migrants and authorities urged employers to lay them off and landlords to evict them, smuggler crossings to Italy have surged.

Tunisian National Guard official Houssem Jbeli said on Wednesday that the coast guard had stopped 30 boats carrying more than 2,000 people. On the same day and the following day four boats sank, with five people drowned. 

– Reuters

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Health and Safety

NAFDAC urges journalists to join in fight against circulation, use of bleaching creams 



NAFDAC urges journalists to join in fight against circulation, use of bleaching creams 

 The National Agency For Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has urged journalists to collaborate with the agency in the fight against the circulation and use of bleaching creams in the country.

Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General (D-G), NAFDAC, made the call while sensitising journalists in the North Central States on the dangers of bleaching creams.

She made the call at a North Central Zonal Media Sensitisation Workshop on the dangers of bleaching creams and regulatory controls which was organised for the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists on Friday in Jos.

Adeyeye said the workshop was aimed at educating and challenging health journalists in Nigeria to play frontline role in the agency’s effort to eradicate the menace of bleaching creams.

The D-G was represented by Dr. Leonard Omokpariola, Director, Chemical Evaluation and Research of the Agency.

 “Bleaching creams damage vital organs in the body, cause skin irritation, allergy, skin burn, rashes, wrinkles and prolong the healing of wounds.

“Black is beautiful, we don’t need to change our color.

“NAFDAC will constantly engage the mass media as we strive to bring down to the grass root levels positive impact of our regulatory activities,” she said.

On his part, Dr. Abubakar Jimoh, Director,  Public Affairs of the Agency, said: “The workshop was meant to educate the mass media with the right information and campaign against the use of bleaching creams in Nigeria.

“Public ignorance is not an excuse before the law. The role of the mass media in the promotion of public health is very important not only for cosmetics and all other NAFDAC regulatory products”. 

In a remark, Mr. Hassan Zaggi, President, Association of Nigeria Health Journalists, said: “Skin bleaching cream is a serious concern among the citizens in the country.

“Why would somebody use his hard-earned money to buy a cream that will endanger his skin?.

“As journalists, we have a responsibility to educate people on the dangers and as well shape the opinion of the people,” Zaggi said.

He appealed to the journalists to pay attention to the workshop for onward circulation of learning outcomes to members of the public. 

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