Eight UN peacekeepers killed in Mali

January 20, 2019Agency Report

Mali on map

Mali on map [Photo Credit: Operation World]

Eight UN peacekeepers were killed and several wounded while repelling an attack by armed assailants near a village in northern Mali on Sunday, the West African nation’s UN mission said.

However, the identity of the attackers was not immediately clear.

UN peacekeeping and French forces are stationed in northern Mali to combat well-armed jihadist groups seen as the gravest threat to security across Africa’s Sahel region.

“The clash near Aguelhok occurred on Sunday following an attack by assailants in many armed vehicles,” the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said in a statement.

It said peacekeepers had thwarted the attack, but eight died and several were wounded.

The mission’s chief, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, demanded “a robust, swift and concerted response.”

A 2015 peace deal signed by Mali’s government and separatist groups has failed to end the violence.

Islamists have also staged assaults on high-profile targets in the capital, Bamako, and in neighbouring Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.

French forces intervened in Mali in 2013 to drive back fighters who had hijacked a Tuareg uprising a year earlier, and some 4,000 French troops remained there.

The UN Security Council then deployed peacekeepers, which have been targets of a concerted guerrilla campaign.


Nigeria’s Former President Obasanjo likens Buhari Govt To Abacha Military Junta



Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has said that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is like that of late former military dictator, Gen. Sanni Abacha, blasting Mr. Buhari, also a former military dictator, for using the EFCC, CCT and the police to deal with those he sees as his enemies

Mr. Obasanjo said this in an address, titled “points for action and concern” which he delivered to journalist at his presidential library in Abeokuta on Sunday.

He said, “today another Abacha era is here.
The security institutions are being misused to fight all critics and opponent of Buhari and to derail our fledgling democracy.

“EFCC, Police and Code of Conduct Tribunal are equally being misused to deal with those Buhari sees as his enemies for criticising him or as those who may not do his bidding in manipulating election results.”

Roger Federer knocked out of Australian Open

Roger Federer

Roger Federer’s bid for a hat-trick of Australian Open titles was crushed on Sunday as Greek wunderkind Stefanos Tsitsipas rose up to floor the Swiss master.

Tsitsipas thus becomes his nation’s first Grand Slam quarter-finalist.

In a match pitting the oldest and youngest players left in the men’s draw, the 20-year-old Tsitsipas overhauled Federer 6-7(11) 7-6(3) 7-5 7-6(5) under the lights of Rod Laver Arena.

This sparked delirium among Greek fans out in force at Melbourne Park.

Federer will rue his chances, having failed to convert any of the 12 break points he took from Tsitsipas over the course of a riveting clash laden with sparkling shot-making.

Tsitsipas will play 22nd-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut for a place in the semi-finals.


Nigerian Lawyer Falana petitions Rights Commission, seeks compensation for victims of 2017 Rann bombing

January 20, 2019Abdulkareem Haruna

Houses burnt in Boko Haram attack on Rann Community

Houses burnt in Boko Haram attack on Rann Community

A senior Nigerian lawyer and activist, Femi Falana, has petitioned the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) seeking compensation for the families of about 200 Internally-displaced persons (IDPs) ‘mistakenly’ bombed in January 2017 by a Nigeria airforce jet at a camp in Rann, Borno State.

Rann, a remote community on the border of the state, came into limelight on January 17, 2017 when the jet on a mission to attack Boko Haram fighters near the Cameroonian borders, dropped its bombs on the crowded camp for IDPs there.

The Nigerian defence headquarters later blamed the attack on “lack of appropriate marking” of the camp.

The then caretaker chairman of Kala Balge Local Government, Babagana Malarima, said 236 people were killed in the bombing. He gave the death toll after several attempts by both government and the military to cover up.

Mr Malarima told the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, during a visit to the camp that the survivors and family members of the victims were demanding compensation from the Nigerian government.

Though the compensation terms were not made known then, it is estimated that, if the Islamic rules for death compensation (Diyya) is to be applied, it could be around N40 million per person, which would amount to a N9.5 billion pay out the federal government.

Two years after, the Nigerian government has not paid the victims any compensation.

It was on that note that on the second anniversary of the bombing, Mr Falana, who is the lawyer to the victims and survivors, sent a petition to the NHRC insisting that a fatal wrong was committed on the people of Rann who must be compensated.

In the petition, Mr Falana said excuses by the Nigerian military in defence of what happened do not hold water, insisting that the offence was not only grave but careless.

He also called for thorough investigation of the incident and the findings made public.

Giving some background facts of the incident, the lawyer said “On January 17, 2017, dozens of people were killed while several others were injured after a Nigerian Air Force jet was reported to have bombed a camp in Rann, Borno State, where thousands of families displaced during the offensive against Boko Haram militants were sheltering.

“A Non-Governmental Organization, Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), said that its staff in the area had seen at least 200 people wounded and 50 dead following the bombing and expected the death toll to rise. But the chairman of Kale-Balge Local Government Area, Babagana Malarima, said “we buried 234 persons in Rann after the bombs were dropped on the IDP camp. We have two other injured persons that died while in hospital in Maiduguri.”

“Instead of reporting the tragic incident to the Accident Investigation Bureau which is saddled with the responsibility of investigating aircraft accidents in Nigeria, the authorities of the Nigeria Air Force decided suo motu to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the bombing of the IDP camp. Although the report of the inquiry was not made public, the Nigeria Air Force blamed the bombing of the camp on an accident.

“In a statement credited to the NAF spokesperson, Air Commodore Olatunkubo Adesanya, it was said that “no NAF pilot leaves his base with the intention of going to kill the same set of people he greatly sacrifices day and night to protect.”

“Apart from expressing its deepest regrets to all concerned, the NAF promised that all necessary measures would be taken to prevent a recurrence of the unfortunate incident.

“To cover up the humanitarian disaster, the NAF claimed that that the IDP camp was not properly marked! While soliciting the understanding and support of all Nigerians and members of the international community regarding the tragic incident, the panel of inquiry and the NAF Authorities have failed to address the payment of compensation to the people who were injured and the families of those who were killed in the bombing incident.

“However, it was announced that the NAF Chief of Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar had directed appropriate NAF officials to intensify humanitarian intervention schemes for Internally Displaced Persons at Rann and other parts of the North East region.

“It is our view that the finding of the military panel that the accident occurred due to the failure of the authorities to mark the IDP camp at Rann confirmed that it was a case of official negligence. However, the tragic incident cannot be blamed on failure to mark the camp in an area that is fully controlled by the army.

“According to Hughes Robert, MSF’s head of emergencies, “The whole camp is controlled by the army and no one can come in or out without being checked, so that’s a shock, as well as the fact that this was a very densely populated place that was full of civilians who already lived there and internally displaced persons who had come there.

“Having confirmed that the NAF pilots were aware of the IDP camp at Rann, the failure to mark it cannot explain the negligence of the pilots involved in the bombing incident. In any case, the marking of all IDP camps in the North East region ought to have been done by the NAF.

“When the United Nations building was attacked in Maiduguri by the Nigerian Army a few months before the bombing of the Rann Camp it was also said that the incident occurred because it was not marked! Are Nigerians to believe that the members of the Armed Forces in the 7TH division located in Maiduguri are not aware of the offices of the UN and other international relief agencies in the same city?

“Regrettably, the cry of the council chairman, Mr. Malarima for payment of compensation to the families of the deceased, as well as the injured ones has fallen on deaf ears.

“In marking the second anniversary of the unfortunate incident we are compelled to call on the National Human Rights Commission to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the air crash with a view to preventing the reoccurrence of such humanitarian disaster.

“In addition, the Commission should ensure that the survivors and the families of those who were killed in the bombing incident are compensated by the insurance company which insured the NAF plane.”

The Woman of the Hour: The Role of Mary at the Wedding at Cana, Galilea

Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld,  JAN. 20, 2019

Sunday, Jan. 20, is the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. Mass Readings: Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 96: 1-2, 2-3, 7-8, 9-10; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; John 2:1-11.

The Gospel this week, focusing on the Wedding at Cana, is important for many reasons: the attentive intercession of Our Lady, the elevation of marriage to a sacrament, and the creation of new wine — the best wine — with a single command from Jesus as the first public miracle. 

Mary’s prominence in this Gospel holds great weight. The words of Jesus to his Mother may sound harsh at first: “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.”  When taken in the context of the whole of Scripture, however, they have many profound implications, one of which is his very deliberate use of the address “Woman.”

He refers to the Woman at the beginning and the end of Revelation, the Woman foretold in Genesis to crush the head of the serpent and the Woman of Revelation clothed with the sun who brings forth a male child to rule the nations, to the fury of the dragon. This is precisely the Woman Jesus speaks to now. It will be her words that begin his public mission: When she says “they have no wine,” she is the one who is the first intercessor; and as such, she will determine the hour. She intercedes her Son into public life, a life in which she will accompany him. This will very much be their hour. Mary, who brought him into the world, will journey with him even unto his death, sharing in his sacrifice far beyond any other human being and therefore participating in our salvation so profoundly that she would come to be called Co-Redemptrix.

The Woman who brought her young son back from the Temple when he was 12 years old, who indicated then, in effect, that it was not the time yet, now throws open the doors to the proclamation of the Gospel, the great work of Jesus, to reveal the glory and love of the Father and walks through them with her Son. And from that point on, every step will lead them closer to the cross: the hour ordained from all of time for our salvation.

What is also amazing is that we, too, are invited to participate in this marvelous work of redemption. For this purpose we are given gifts meant specifically for the building up of the Body of Christ. These are the spiritual gifts Paul refers to in the second reading: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, mighty deeds, prophecy, discernment and tongues — gifts bestowed on us in baptism that are meant to be given away. Gifts by which the Holy Spirit, with our cooperation, lives and moves and breathes in the world, renewing it continuously. 

It is a glorious thing to be a sharer in the work of Christ to restore creation under his headship, to discover the unique charisms God has endowed us with for the sake of the Kingdom and to give our “Yes” to the particular way we are called to serve. It is in those moments of collaboration with Christ, when we are using our gifts, that we will feel most alive and see even our small and hidden actions bear the most fruit in the lives of others. In this way we begin to make him known to a world desperately seeking the life of Christ, like the disciples in the Gospel passage who saw his glory and “began to believe in him.”

May we ask Mary to make this our “hour” too, our time to embrace our call to be apostles to the world and to use our Spirit-given gifts for his glory and our salvation



pelosi maxresdefaultThe mafia princess has met her match.  Opening the pages of Pelosi’s past is definitely something she does not want to happen, especially after all the hard work she and her buddies have taken to keep it hidden from the public eye.  The irony of it all is that her historic past of corruption was always performed in the light of day and protected by those that shared her crimes.

As long as the swamp is layered deep with bands of thieves, liars, and treasonous elite who have read every word of Karl Marx and made it their Bible…she was safe and given free reign to do the bidding of her globalist handlers.  Her lust for power has been artificially fed by very greedy and unconscionable souls who will never stand by her as she has her final meltdown in the congressional halls as her sins are read aloud, one…

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