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Nigeria: Terrorists Plotting More Prison Attacks In Three States – Military Intel

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The attacks are planned to be carried out successively, first, in Gusau, then Birnin Kebbi, and finally Katsina, the military told the correctional service

Terrorists are planning more prison attacks targeting facilities in Gusau, Birnin Kebbi, and Katsina to free their imprisoned fighters, military intelligence sources have said, a warning already passed to the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS).

The attacks are planned to be carried out successively, first, in Gusau, then Birnin Kebbi, and finally Katsina, the military told the correctional service, according to officials familiar with the transmission of the intelligence and documents sighted by PREMIUM TIMES. The phased plan, sources said, is because the terrorists are unable to mobilise sufficient logistical capabilities to strike simultaneously in three states.

All the target facilities are in Nigeria’s North-west facing aggravated violence by terrorists, often called bandits, and other violent extremist groups like Boko Haram, Ansaru, and ISWAP, who have expanded into the region in the past years from the North-east.

A rare collaboration of ISWAP and Ansaru, two Boko Haram splinter groups, produced the audacious July 6 Kuje prison attack in the federal capital, Abuja, researchers and negotiators with an understanding of the working of the terrorists said. The attack showed the terrorists’ capacity to exploit Nigeria’s worsening vulnerability under President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a new video depicting the torture of kidnapped victims of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack, believed to be a terrorist act, one of the armed men claimed to be a Kuje prison escapee. The terrorists have repeatedly said the government knows what they want to free the captives. Intelligence sources say they are seeking the release of their jailed members in exchange for the freedom of the train attack victims

In its latest warning, the military said the terror attack”may be staged” on a Friday, explicitly indicating this Friday, 29 July, for the first in Gusau, Zamfara State.

Describing the logic behind striking on a Friday, military intelligence sources said that is when the terrorists believe senior prison officials would have travelled for the weekend or stayed off duty at their various homes. In addition, at such time, the terrorists perceive that it could be easier to compromise warders to smuggle logistical coordination items, like telephones, into the prisons.

A source, who has worked with the government on counter-insurgency and helped obtain intelligence from the communications of imprisoned terrorists, said the information flow between terrorists in and out of prisons depends on telephone communications facilitated by compromised warders.

To circumvent counter-intelligence, the source said after each communication, the SIM card used is destroyed or thrown away and another is procured for them by compromised warders next time. In one case, the source said, several trashed SIM cards were recovered in the grasses behind the Kuje prison facility after an inmate was tortured to confess how the communication occurred.

Hibernating in neighbourhoods

The military said the terrorists’ plans include the relocation of the required fighters and arms to areas hosting or close to the target prisons.

In the case of Gusau, which the military specifically said the terrorists plan to attack this Friday, fighters would move to the Ungwan Gwaza neighbourhood, which hosts the Gusau prison. They would hibernate there “with relations” till the time the attack is to be carried out.

Similarly, the military said the Kofar Soro area of Katsina would host terrorists ahead of the planned Katsina prison attack “within the month of August”. The prison is located at Kofar Soro, which also hosts the emir’s palace, a police station, and a big mosque, Google Earth shows.

For Birnin Kebbi, the terrorists plan to attack with some fighters relocated to an area called Kwaido in Augie LGA of Kebbi State. Analysis of Google Maps suggests this area is more than two hours away from the capital Birnin Kebbi.

The military further warned that the terrorists might be staying with their relatives within the quarters of the correctional service’s staff.

“Beef up”

In view of the uncovered planned attacks, the military has asked the correctional service to “beef up” security measures around the affected facilities, PREMIUM TIMES has been told. Specifically, the military requested heightened vigilance and increased collaboration with security agencies to forestall the “subversive acts” of the terrorists.

The spokesperson for the correctional service, Abubakar Umar, said he would not make specific comments on the warning from the military intelligence, which PREMIUM TIMES understands was transmitted at the end of the past week. But Mr Umar said following the Kuje attack, the service has deployed more officials, including armed squads to facilities.

“Our intelligence system has been raised and we are working with other security agencies to ensure our facilities are protected nationwide against further attacks,” Mr Umar said.

Military spokesperson Jimmy Akpor, a major general, did not comment for this story after a message describing our findings was sent to him. He also did not answer telephone calls.

Since 2017, Nigeria has suffered at least 12 prison breaks and attacks with more than a thousand inmates including dangerous criminals released into society. There were also more than 15 failed attempts, officials told PREMIUM TIMES.

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Lomé Will, Again, Host WHO’s African Regional Committee Meeting

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Lomé, the Togolese capital, will host the 72nd session of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) African Regional Committee from 22 to 26 August.

This was revealed by the Minister of Health, Public Hygiene, and Universal Access to Health Care, during the Council of Ministers held on August 3, 2022.

“This choice attests to the efforts and progress made by our country, under the leadership of the Head of State, in the field of public health,” the government said. “The Council welcomed this choice and encouraged all ministers to be actively involved for the success of this regional meeting,”it added.

According to the provisional agenda of WHO Africa, the meeting, in hybrid format, will be structured on 5 pillars. It will address issues such as the Regional Strategy for the control of serious non-communicable diseases in primary health care facilities, the framework for strengthening the implementation of the global action plan for mental health, protection against financial risks for universal health coverage in the WHO African Region, a framework for integrated control, elimination and eradication of tropical and vector-borne diseases in the African Region 2022-2030, or the strengthening of the UN agency, for more effective and efficient support to African countries

Togo hosted (via videoconference) the previous session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa.

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South African Minister Accuses West of ‘Bullying’ On Ukraine

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, and South African Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor appear at a joint press conference after meeting together in Pretoria, South Africa, on Aug. 8, 2022.

South African Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor accused the West of sometimes taking a patronizing and bullying attitude toward Africa, as she hosted U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the first leg of his Africa visit. Pandor made it clear that South Africa has different views from the U.S. on Ukraine, China, and Israel and the Palestinians.

At a joint press conference in the South African capital, Blinken stressed he was not on his three-country tour of the continent in order to counter Moscow and Beijing’s growing influence in the region, as has been widely speculated, after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited last month.

“Our commitment to a stronger partnership with Africa is not about trying to outdo anyone else,” Blinken said.

Blinken spoke, too, about U.S. support of Ukraine, saying Russia’s invasion was an aggression against the entire international order.
South Africa has remained neutral on the conflict with Russia, its partner in the BRICS group of countries, and abstained from any U.N. votes on the matter, though Pandor said the country “abhorred” war and would like to see an end to the conflict.

However, she said the different approaches by the international community to different conflicts sometimes “leads to cynicism about international bodies.” She referenced the plight of the Palestinians.

“Just as much as the people of Ukraine deserve their territory and freedom, the people of Palestine deserve their territory and freedom,” she said, “and we should be equally concerned at what is happening to the people of Palestine as we are with what is happening to the people of Ukraine. We’ve not seen an even-handed approach.”

Pandor added that while it didn’t come from Blinken, South Africa had experienced pressure from some in the West to align with its policy on Ukraine. She also appeared to criticize the U.S. bill passed in April, “Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act,” which has been seen by some on the continent as a vehicle to punish African countries that have not toed the line on Ukraine.

“From some of our partners in Europe and elsewhere, there has been a sense of patronizing bullying — ‘You choose this or else.’ And the recent legislation passed in the United States of America by the House of Representatives, we found a most unfortunate bill.”

Bob Wekesa, director of the African Center for the Study of the United States, said Pandor’s candid remarks at the press conference showed the closed-door meeting between the U.S. and South African sides “must have been a very difficult one.”

“I think the U.S. is attempting to figure out how to get South Africa on to its side, but South Africa is not coming to the party,” Wekesa said.

Blinken was in Pretoria to launch the new U.S. Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa, which focuses on areas such as climate change, trade, health and food insecurity.

During his remarks Monday, he also criticized Beijing for its strong reaction to House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

Pandor would not comment specifically on Taiwan but did say South Africa did not want to be made party to a conflict between China and the U.S.

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Man Who Killed His 2-Day Old Daughter For Crying Too Much Found Dead In His Prison Cell

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Trigger Warning: This story mentions child abuse and infanticide which may be disturbing to readers.

Newborn babies cry a lot, in fact, that is how they communicate. But, when a two-day-old baby wouldn’t stop crying, an infuriated father punched her in the face, so hard that she died.

Karen Bissett, 21, the child’s mother had left the child with her father, Liam Deane, when she went to get some sleep on July 10, 2017. Since Luna wouldn’t stop crying while Bissett was away, he shook her hard; punching her in the face, and squeezing her body and arms, reports BBC.

Despite suffering grave injuries, the father did nothing. The next day, he informed Luna’s mother that she was struggling to breathe and lied that she fell from the bed while sleeping at night. The two-day-old was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary where she died in intensive care on July 14.

According to a doctor, Luna died as a result of head trauma, which left her with “catastrophic brain injuries.”

When questioned by police, Deane broke down and admitted that he was the one who attacked the infant. During Deane’s trial, prosecutor Michael Smith stated that the infant suffered damage to her brain, body, and face.

Smith said, “He said he was responsible for all of the injuries that she had suffered and he said that Luna had not settled down and he lost control.” The then 22-year-old father was given a life sentence with a minimum of 10 years in prison in October 2017.

But unfortunately, fate had other plans for him. You see, just months after receiving his sentence, Dean was found dead in his prison cell in IMP Leeds on 12 November 2017. Fellow inmate John Westland, who was serving a sentence for rape and grievous bodily harm, was arrested and given a minimum of 19 years in prison, as he was responsible for the murder of the father.

During the trial, judge Rodney Jameson QC told Westland, “You told the jury that you believed Liam Deane was a sex offender, but he was not. He had committed a very serious crime, but had admitted it from the first and was trying to come to terms with what he had done.”

“It is an unfortunate consequence of life in prison than those who are themselves guilty of serious offenses, as you were, will find another inmate to look down on. Given the nature of your own conviction, some might find that to be rank hypocrisy,” said Judge Jameson.

Then, Westland revealed that because of the nature of Deane’s conviction, he was frequently referred to as a “baby killer” around the jail, and he received daily threats and taunts. He also claimed that his cellmate was in debt to other inmates.

During the week-long trial, jurors heard that the convict killed his cellmate with a broken bottle of aftershave and that the victim had shown symptoms of asphyxiation caused by pressure on his head and face.

Even though Deane’s crime of killing his infant daughter was termed as “an appalling crime that tore her family apart” by West Yorkshire Police, they believed that he was entitled to his right of serving his time in prison.

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