Expect More Investment In Education, President Buhari Assures Nigerians

President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Paris, France, assured Nigerians that allocations to the educational sector will be improved as revenue increases, describing the sector as a major engine for the development of any country.

The President, during an interactive session with the Nigerian community in Paris, said the about 5 per cent allocation to the sector was inadequate to propel the desired growth for the economy, pointing that United Nations target of 26 per cent remains ideal.

“We are currently reviewing investments in the entire infrastructure of the country like road, rail and power, including investing more in education. We will certainly need to do more in education,’’ he said.

President Buhari enjoined Nigerian elites, both at home and diaspora, to do more in contributing to the educational sector of the country, expressing surprise that the elites tolerated the fall in standards and structures of educational institutions despite oil windfalls in the past that would have made all the difference.

“I am doing my best now to utilize our resources to develop the country,’’ he said. “ We are already getting results on road, rail and power. My frustration is that some people still have plenty stolen money stashed in Europe, U S and other countries.’’

President Buhari said return of stolen assets in some safe heavens will bolster the administration’s current effort of investing more in critical infrastructure that directly impact on the livelihood of Nigerians .

The President said the war against terrorism will be reinforced with new weapons and hardware for the military, while the challenge of abduction and kidnapping in some parts of the country will receive more attention with better gathering of intelligence.

“We campaigned on three key issues; security, improving the economy, and fighting corruption, and we have not been controverted by anyone that we have not recorded some results,’’ he added.

On Nigerians in diaspora participating in elections, the President said the population of citizens in various countries across the world already necessitate their inclusion to elect leaders, noting that it might not happen in the 2019 elections as INEC had been more focused on strengthening and consolidating on its achievements of conducting credible elections within the country.

The President said it could happen in future.

He added that the Nigerian constitution had taken into cognizance the need for representation in the political structures in order to ensure harmony and development, urging more people to pick interest in governance and quality representation.

In her remarks, Nigerian Ambassador to France, Dr. Modupe Enitan Irele, said the Nigerian community in France had demonstrated high sense of responsibility, dedication and morality, adding that the large number of professionals had been encouraged to also contribute to the country’s development.

“Nigerians here are law abiding, peaceful and resourceful,’’ she said.

Dr. Irele said President Buhari’s commitment to change will make Nigeria the envy of other African countries.

The Nigerians in diaspora, who participated in the meeting, raised questions on education, inclusive elections, security infrastructure and the economy.

Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, a Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Affairs, recently nominated Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Diaspora Commission, facilitated the meeting that was attended by Governor Willie Obiano, Aminu Masari and John Kayode Fayemi, of Anambra, Katsina and Ekiti states, and top government functionaries.

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Paris Park Where Nigerian Women Are Forced Into Prostitution

The Cable News Network (CNN), has exposed how some ladies are trafficked from Nigeria to France and forced into sexual slavery.

Nadège was one of these women before she managed to escape.

Nadège says she was trafficked from Nigeria to France and forced into sexual slavery, at €20 ($23) per client, to pay off a colossal debt to a female Nigerian pimp known as a “madam.”

A madam she met in Lagos promised her a better life in Europe, working as a waitress. “I was told it was like a paradise,” Nadège tells CNN. “But getting here, it was like from frying pan to fire.”
Before leaving, the madam made Nadège swear an oath at a “juju” temple with a native doctor of Ayelala — a traditional belief system from southern Nigeria.
Nadège swore to repay her madam for sending her to Europe, and to never speak of her oath, or her debt, to anyone.
A week after arriving in France with a fake passport her madam gave her, Nadège was sent to work in Bois de Vincennes park, which is on the outskirts of eastern Paris, and has also been part-commandeered by human traffickers.
Her madam gave her a €100 daily target and took away her passport and all her earnings, except money for food and rent.
“Sometimes you work from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the morning, maybe get home by 8 a.m.,” she says.
She would start work again, elsewhere, from 3 p.m., she says. “Until 6 p.m., then you have to go to your normal place of work.”
Most of the Nigerian women working in the park are “slaves,” she says. “Some are free, but the prostitution has eaten deep into them.”
Nadège said she cut ties with her madam when she got pregnant a year later and decided to keep her baby.
Narrating her escape, she said: “I was waiting patiently for the death or the madness,” she says. “I was like… ‘Should I go over to the street and start working? Should I abort my baby?'”
Nadège discouraged other young ladies against journeying to Europe in search of greener pastures saying: “It’s not easy to be transported to Europe just like a bag of fruit and sold for men to eat. Don’t even think of it.”
Though she has refugee status and a full-time job and has begun learning French, Nadège still feels her life is ruined. The birth of her son, however, has given her a new purpose.
“No matter what I am tomorrow, I’m still going to be useless. Because I can’t proudly say my story. I can’t proudly tell the world who I am.” Her voice falters. “Whatever I’m doing right now, I’m doing it for my son.”
“When I had my documents the first thing that came to my mind was: ‘Thank God I can now give my son a good life,'” she says.
“He’s already teaching me… he speaks French now. And he’s so super smart. When I see him sometimes, I forget my past — I forget myself.”
The International Organization for Migration says the number of potential victims of sex trafficking arriving by boat in Italy has increased by almost 600% in the past three years, and 80% of them are Nigerian.
In March, Oba Ewuare II, the traditional leader of the Edo people, declared a curse on human traffickers and removed the curses on those that had been trafficked under a juju oath.
Vanessa Simoni, of LABF, says the women now “feel less guilty to break the oath” as “they have the approval of their community.”
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From Paris to Abuja: Federal Government To Issue Pilot Sovereign Green Bond During Week Of December 18

The Debt Management Office, Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Ministry of Environment will host a Green Bond Investor forum in Abuja and Lagos respectively as part of its launch of the Federal Government Sovereign Green Bonds program in Nigeria.

In preparation to the issuance, the Federal Government of Nigeria will issue the first tranche of bonds from this program during the week of 18th of December 2017 as part of its effort to align with the global objective of expanding the market for climate finance. This is in keeping with President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to support Nigeria’s transition towards a low carbon, green economy.

Speaking in Paris, France at the One Planet Summit, hosted by President Emmanuel Macron, President Muhammadu Buhari said that for “Nigeria to respond effectively to climate change mitigation and adaptation challenges, critical mass of financial resources beyond what we can provide from our national resources will be required.” On steps Nigeria has taken to meet its national goal in this respect, The President said the country “embraced the issuance of the green bond as an innovative and alternative source of project funding that would help reduce emissions and provide robust climate infrastructure, such as renewable energy, low carbon transport, water infrastructure and sustainable agriculture in line with the Paris Agreement”.

The Green Bond Investors Forum will be held on the 14th of December 2017 in Abuja and on the 15th of December 2017 in Lagos to sensitize stakeholders on the pilot issuance of the Green bond in Nigeria. Participants at the Investors Fora are expected from Pension Funds Administrators (PFAs), Federal Ministry of Finance, Inter-ministerial Committee on Climate Change; Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Debt Management Office (DMO), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) World Bank, Chapel Hill Denham, and other private sector representatives.

The Investors’ fora follows the publication of an assessment of Nigeria’s Green Bond by Moodys. Nigeria’s Green Bond has been assessed and categorized GB1 (Excellent). This will be the first time a green bond assessment has been assigned to a sovereign green bond in Africa by Moody’s  

Moody’s Senior Vice President, Rahul Ghosh said in a statement that; “In preparation for Africa’s maiden Sovereign Green Bond, the Government of Nigeria has put in place a comprehensive governance structure and framework that is aligned with the country’s domestic green bond guidelines and international best practices.”

The Honorable Minister for State, Ibrahim Usman Jibril said, ”Climate Change is real and business, government and the capital market need to work together to slow its effects. This pilot green bond, which we expect to be the first of many more, has developed the platform to address the nation’s target of reducing its emissions by 20% unconditionally and 45% conditionally by 2030”.

Green bonds have been the subject of increasing government, investor and media interest, driven by the prospect of matching large low?carbon investment requirements with the trillions of dollars in global bond markets held by institutional investors.

A Nigeria Sovereign Green Bond issuance marks the first sovereign green bond issuance in Africa, and the fourth globally.

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Egyptair Flight From Paris To Cairo With 59 Passengers On Board Missing

An EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo has disappeared from radar, the Egyptian airline says.

It says there are 59 passengers and 10 crew members on board Flight MS804.

The aircraft was flying at 37,000ft (11,300m) when it went missing over the eastern Mediterranean. An official said the plane lost contact with radar at 02:45 Cairo time (00:45 GMT).

The company said it would issue an update “when more information becomes available”.

EgyptAir said the plane disappeared about 10 miles (16km) into Egyptian air space.

It said the concerned authorities had been notified, and search and rescue teams were now looking for the aircraft.

The search operation is being co-ordinated with the Greek authorities.

According to the flightradar24.com website, which tracks passenger flights around the globe, the plane is an Airbus A320.

The aircraft left Paris at 23:09 local time on Wednesday (21:09 GMT) and was scheduled to arrive in the Egyptian capital soon after 03:00 local time on Thursday.

In March, an EgyptAir plane was hijacked and diverted to Cyprus. The attacker later surrendered and all hostages were released.

Last October, a Russian passenger plane flying from Sharm el-Sheikh crashed over the Sinai peninsula killing all 224 people on board. Officials in Moscow later said the aircraft was brought down by an explosive device.

Islamic State militants said they had bombed the plane.

BBC

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Nigeria’s Diplomatic Triumphs in Malta and Paris By Louis Okoroma

President Muhammadu Buhari embarked on a grueling one week diplomatic trip that began from the tail end of November to the beginning of December, 2015. The trip took him to Valletta, capital of Malta where he attended the biennial meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM).

Later, the Nigerian leader moved to Paris to join other World leaders representing about 150 nations to attend the Conference on Climate Change hosted by the French government.

The CHOGM meeting in Malta is the first time President Buhari would attend a Commonwealth Heads of States meeting. In fact, the meeting took place at an auspicious time, six months into the four year administration of the President.

The Commonwealth is an association of former British colonies of which Nigeria is one. There are 53 countries who are members of this association which is voluntary in membership. However, the geographical distribution of the membership of the Commonwealth bestows on it the reputation of an international organization whose membership strides all the continents of the World. Thus, the Commonwealth is a veritable arena for international diplomacy as well as economic shopping.

Among the members of the Commonwealth are some very large and thickly populated countries like Nigeria and India, very rich ones like the UK and the Sultanate of Brunei, poor countries like Sierra Leone, Ghana etc. as well as very small countries like Belize and several Island nations who were formerly, ruled by the United Kingdom. Australia and New Zealand, rich counties in the Pacific region, as well as South Africa are also Commonwealth members.

Therefore looking at the diversity in wealth, size and endowment, the Commonwealth is a good place for a country to seek friends or keep in touch with old friends and associates as in the case of Nigeria. In the case of President Buhari, attendance at a Commonwealth leaders meeting is a journey of discovery and awareness and an opportunity for him to be known and seen at first hand by other leaders of the Commonwealth many of whose countries have bilateral relations with Nigeria. This means that at once, President Buhari would have the opportunity to shake hands and rub minds with 53 leaders of countries, and Nigerian officials travelling with him would discuss a variety of political, economic, social, educational and cultural issues of interest to their various countries. From there, deals can be struck on how the countries concerned can move further to consolidate their relationship.

The Commonwealth is not merely a diplomatic and political talk shop. It also caters for the educational, scientific and economic development needs of its members. These economic and development issues are handled by the Commonwealth Foundation, and the Commonwealth Business Council.

At the end of the Malta meeting, Nigeria’s leader, Muhammadu Buhari was selected to speak on behalf of the African countries present. This is an important development and a recognition of the growing clout of President Buhari and Nigeria’s rising diplomatic profile. It is important to note that this feat of diplomatic pre-eminence and recognition has been achieved by PMB in just six months. In about a years’ time or more, Nigeria would have to figure out how to accommodate and utilize the several foreign direct investment that would be flowing into Nigeria; a direct result of President Buhari’s focused and purposeful diplomacy. Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, revealed as much in one of his recent essays titled ‘Buhari’s travels are not for enjoyment’ that as a result of his diplomatic trips, several millions in business deals and uncountable interest in the Nigerian economy will soon bring the much sought after FDI’s into the country.

The Paris Conference on Climate Change was no less eventful and successful. Nigeria was in the midst of 150 countries with the Secretary- General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki- Moon in attendance. Climate Change is a subject that is of importance to all countries because the future of our planet depends on it and the way and manner it is managed. Ultimately, economic development and prosperity of mankind depends to a large extent on how prepared the international community is and the measures put in place to assist the most vulnerable nations that might face emergency situations arising from Climate change like flooding, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis and drought and desertification.

According to the Special Adviser to the President on Media, Femi Adesina, President Buhari without hesitation and equivocation and mindful of Nigeria’s national interest approved the early submission at the Paris conference of Nigeria’s intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC). The INDC, commits Nigeria to 20 percent unconditional and 40 percent conditional Greenhouse gases. It underscores President Buhari appreciation of the importance of climate change and that the fact that economic development would take place mindful of the impact of the Green effect.

President Buhari after presiding over the meeting of the Lake Chad Commission, on the sidelines of the conference, called on the Conference to come to the aid of the Lake Chad countries by helping to save the important lake, by ensuring the implementation of the Lake Chad Development and Climate Resilience Plan freely agreed upon by the international community. In the past 20 years, the waters of the Lake has fast receded with the result that the size of the latter has tremendously reduced and water no longer exist on the Nigerian side. The result is that the heavy population and economic activities that use to thrive on the Nigerian side is no more as most of the original inhabitants have migrated. All these are due to climate change!

For developing countries like Nigeria and other third World countries, international agreement on issues like carbon emissions that lead to global warming, waste management and disposal would have a great impact on economic development, agriculture and industrialization. Thus the conference presented an opportunity for leaders of developing countries to partake in the Conference and the follow- up negotiations on the management of Climate Change and what is required from each member state of the United Nations.

Louis Okoroma, a Public Affairs Analyst wrote from Abuja.

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President Buhari Approves Nigeria’s INDC As World Leaders Gather In Paris For Major Climate Agreement

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the submission of the country’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) to address climate change to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

 
Nigeria’s INDC was approved by the President on November 26 and submitted to the UNFCCC on November 28, ahead of Monday’s opening in Paris of the United Nations Climate Change conference, widely known as COP 21.
 
The Federal Government’s policy to address climate change, as espoused in the country’s INDC, commits to 20 per cent unconditional and 45 per cent conditional Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) emission reduction post 2020.
 
The action plan announced by the Federal Government represents a fair and meaningful contribution to address climate change and equally reaffirms President Buhari’s commitment to an economic transformation which places inclusive, green growth as key priority for this administration.
 
President Buhari is fully aware of the acute threat that climate change poses to Nigeria’s development through flooding, desertification and insecurity, and many of these accrue from weather-related natural disasters.
 
In Paris, the issue of Lake Chad’s current depletion, which has become a cause of international concern, will be major focus of a meeting of the Lake Chad Basin Summit of Heads of State and Government, which President Buhari will attend with Nigeria’s delegation on Tuesday, December 1.
 
The Lake Chad is currently less than 10 per cent of its original size and little of the remaining waters is in Nigeria. Of an estimated 20 million people that lived on the Lake Chad Basin as at 2013, about 11.7 million were in the North Eastern region of Nigeria.
 
Also during the conference in Paris, President Buhari is scheduled to participate in the launching of International Solar Alliance by the Indian Prime Minister and the French President, where he will seek international partnerships to deliver Nigeria’s climate change response.  
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ISIS Mentions Nigeria In Paris Attacks Statement

The Islamic State yesterday mentioned Nigeria in a statement it issued, claiming responsibility for coordinated attacks in different parts of Paris by assailants numbering eight, which resulted in the death of 129 people, and left at least 352 injured.

In an online statement distributed by supporters on Saturday, ISIS said eight militants wearing explosive belts and armed with machine guns attacked precisely selected areas in the French capital.

Nothing elaborate was however said about Nigeria, apart from a mention in a post on the terrorist group’s blog.

The statement, posted on ISIS’ blog, according to a tweet by TRACterrorisim.org, reads, “O people crusaders: when you deploy forces in order to control the city Saladin and dreaming of Mosul, Sinjar, Haul, Tikrit or Huwaijah or dreaming Mayadin or Jarablus or Karmah or Tel Abyad or Al Qaim or Darnah or dream to reclaim the wilderness in the interior Nigeria or master ‘Asy’asy Sinai desert sand, then surel, WE just want ROME and PARIS Insyallah before before ANDALUSIA (UKK).”

With ISIS claiming responsibility for the Paris attacks, investigation has moved beyond France as Belgian authorities made a number of arrests there in the first publicised apprehensions after Friday night’s bloodshed, a Belgian Justice Ministry spokeswoman said yesterday. Three people were reportedly arrested in Molenbeek district of Brussels in connection with the attacks.

France has vowed revenge for the attacks. President Francois Hollande deemed the shootings and bombings “an act of war.”

He said early Saturday, “We will lead the fight, and we will be ruthless.”

President-Buhari-3President Muhammadu Buhari has sympathised with the government and people of France over Friday’s attacks and has called on world leaders to come together to confront terrorism.

This was contained in a statement by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina.

Buhari said Friday’s attack underscored the need for “all peace-loving nations of the world to intensify ongoing multilateral cooperation and collaborative actions aimed at bringing the scourge of international terrorism to a speedy end for the benefit of all nations”.

While condemning the dastardly act, the president described the attacks as an unacceptable affront to all human values and civilized norms.

“As a country which has borne the terrible human cost of terrorist attacks, Nigeria stands in full solidarity with the government and people of France as they mourn those who have sadly lost their lives in the attack on Paris,” he said.

 

ICC report lists war crimes against Army, Boko Haram

A preliminary report of the International Criminal Court (ICC), has listed eight war crimes against the Nigerian army and the Boko Haram terrorist group.

The ICC in the preliminary report published on its website, indicated that crimes against humanity and possible war crimes may have been committed by the Nigerian military and the insurgents in the last six years, in the country’s North-east region.

According to the report which was released by the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor, eight possible cases of crimes against humanity and war crimes under Ariticle 7 and 8 of its statute, had been identified to have been allegedly perpetrated by both the insurgents and the military.

A breakdown shows that while the military may be indicted for two of the cases, six of them were perpetrated by Boko Haram.

The ICC report listed indiscriminate arrest, detention, torture and extrajudicial killings of people suspected to be Boko Haram fighters and collaborators as well as its attack of civilian populations as well as the recruitment of child soldiers by pro-government militia called the Civilian JTF, as crimes allegedly committed by the military.

“During such arrest operations boys and men were reportedly arbitrarily targeted and arrested by Nigerian Security Forces. Since 2011, Nigerian Security Forces have reportedly arrested at least 20,000 people, mostly young men in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States. Altogether, more than 7,000 people reportedly died in military detention since March 2011 due to illness, poor condition and overcrowding of detention facilities, torture, ill-treatment and extrajudicial executions.

“Attacks against civilians form the subject of a second potential case against the Nigerian Security Forces. In the town of Baga, Borno State, up to 228 persons may have been killed following a security operation on 17 April 2013. 55 Human Rights Watch published geospatial images of the area affected, alleging that at least 2,275 dwellings were destroyed in the attack.

“Finally, although the central government prohibits the recruitment and use of child soldiers, it is reported that the Civilian Joint Task Force recruited and used children, sometimes by force. Further information on these allegations is however required,” the report stated.

The report mentioned indiscriminate attacks on civilians considered to be “disbelievers,”as the first instance of crime against humanity, by the insurgents.

“This case includes attacks conducted against civilians when taking control of towns and villages as well as bomb attacks launched against civilians in civilian areas.

“From January 2013 to March 2015, 356 reported incidents of killings can be attributed to Boko Haram in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Plateau, Kano, the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja), Gombe, Kaduna, Bauchi in Nigeria as well as occasionally in Cameroon (since February 2013) and Niger (Dumba and Diffa, since January 2015) which led to the killing of over 8,000 civilians.

“Following military operations since February 2015 during which territory previously held by Boko Haram was recaptured, mass graves or other sites with decomposed bodies were discovered allegedly containing the bodies of civilians killed by Boko Haram,” a part of the report read.

The second case against the insurgents according to the ICC is the case of abduction. The ICC stated in the report that it recorded 55 incidents of abductions committed by the Islamist sect between January 2014 and March 2015, involving at least 1,885 abductees mostly from Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states and that in 2014 alone 1,123 people were abducted 536 of them being female victims.

“Boko Haram reportedly also detained thousands of civilians in its camps and in towns under its control in Borno state and other undetermined areas in the north-east of Nigeria, including in the Sambisa forest, around Lake Chad, and near the Gorsi mountains in Cameroon. For example, in Bama town, hundreds of men were reportedly held by Boko Haram in the town’s prison for several weeks before being executed,” the report added.

The third instance of crime against humanity identified in the report was Boko Haram’s propensity of attacking schools and other educational buildings as well as attacks on students and teachers.

“School buildings were allegedly bombed, attacked with firearms and/or burned down by Boko Haram. Boko Haram allegedly targeted primarily state schools pursuant to a policy that such schools are the main conduits through which western values are being transmitted to the local society. From mid-2013, Boko Haram attacks on schools, on schoolchildren and teachers increased significantly.

“Between January 2012 and October 2013, 70 teachers and more than 100 schoolchildren and students were reportedly killed or wounded. In May 2014, Nigeria Union of Teachers reported that at least 173 teachers had been killed between 2009 and 2014; Borno State officials have cited a slightly higher figure of 176 teachers. At least 50 schools were either burned down or badly damaged and 60 more were forced to close. In March 2014, the Borno State government decided to close all secondary schools in the state in order to protect students and teachers from further attacks.

“In addition, as a result of direct threats from Boko Haram, 120 schools were forced to close in 10 districts of the Far North of Cameroon. Boko Haram was included as a new party on the list of the Secretary General’s Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict (2014) for attacks against schools among other alleged conduct,” the report further stated.

It added that Boko Haram’s policy of recruiting child soldiers constituted another instance of the sect’s alleged commission of war crime and crime against humanity.

“While there is no information available on the total number of child soldiers, the UN reported the recruitment and use of children as young as 12 years old by Boko Haram. Several witnesses reported that they saw children in the ranks of Boko Haram during attacks. Boko Haram reportedly pressured boys to join their group by threatening their families through cash payments. Others may be recruited through Quranic schools.

“Most of the children are allegedly used for intelligence gathering, tracking the movements of enemy forces, transportation of weapons and for participating in the attacks including for the torching of buildings dedicated to education and religion. In propaganda videos attributed to Boko Haram, child soldiers can be seen being trained to use firearms,” The ICC report indicated.

The report listed the sect’s attacks on girls and women as its fifth potential case of crime against humanity, noting that the increasing attacks on female subjects were for punitive reasons such as attendance of school and for reasons such as cooking, cleaning and other operational reasons.

The report observed that the abduction of 276 girls from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno state on 14 April, 2014, was the most notorious example of this crime and that the increasing use of women and girls as suicide bombers represented an escalation of the crime.

Attacks on places of worship constituted the Boko Haram’s sixth commission of war crime, the report said, pointing out that the intentional targeting of buildings dedicated to religion, including churches and mosques constitutes a sixth potential case against Boko Haram.

“According to the Office’s analysis, the number of destructions of civilian buildings, including churches and mosques, gradually increased since January 2014 and peaked between November 2014 and March 2015,” the report stated.

On what its next step of action would be, the office said it would continue to analyse allegations of crimes committed in Nigeria and to assess the admissibility of the potential cases identified, in order to reach a decision on whether the criteria for opening an investigation are met.

“Based on the cooperation with the new Nigerian authorities and any new information on relevant national proceedings, the Office will determine its next steps. The Prosecutor has repeatedly stressed the seriousness of the situation in Nigeria and the need to bring alleged perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity to justice. Ability and willingness to conduct national proceedings against all sides of the conflict will remain a key area of focus of the Office’s admissibility assessment.

“The Office is planning to carry out a mission to Abuja to inform the new authorities about the status of the preliminary examination and share information on the potential cases with the Attorney-General of the Federation as soon as the new cabinet has been appointed. The Office is devoting particular efforts to determine the gender component of crimes committed in Nigeria. This includes specific analysis of whether any of the alleged conduct constitutes the crime against humanity of persecution on gender grounds,” it said.

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Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Paris Terror Attacks That Killed 127

The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for simultaneous attacks on six Paris locations late Friday night that killed at least 127 people. Assailants used automatic weapons and detonated suicide vests in the attacks, wounding roughly 200 more.

The terrorist group issued a statement Saturday, saying the attacks were in response to airstrikes against IS.

French President Francois Hollande on Saturday declared three days of national mourning following the attacks across the capital city. The French leader blamed the Islamic State group for the night of horror and called the attacks “an act of war.”

Vowing to hunt down the attackers, Hollande said, “France will triumph over this barbarity.” He called an emergency Cabinet meeting and mobilized France’s security forces at the “highest levels.”

People across France woke up Saturday to a nationwide state of emergency. Eight terrorists were killed, but it was not clear whether there might be more insurgents or accomplices lurking in Paris neighborhoods.

Hollande asked Paris residents to stay inside Saturday. Those who venture out are finding many stores closed and a ramped-up security presence, with 1,500 soldiers deployed to the French capital’s streets.

Borders closed

The president ordered France’s borders closed – an unprecedented act in 21st-century Europe. However, the main airport remains open and trains are still running.

On Friday night, as many as 100 people died at the Bataclan concert hall when at least three gunmen opened fire with automatic weapons before taking scores of people hostage. Police later stormed the building, killing at least one attacker. Others may have died in suicide bombings.

At least 1,000 people were in the Bataclan audience, where a performance by an American band was interrupted by rapid gunfire. Many people escaped during the shootout.

Fatalities were also reported in other parts of Paris. One of the first explosions was just outside a sports stadium where Hollande and a large crowd were watching a football (soccer) match between the French and German national teams.

The blast was felt inside the stadium. Police evacuated Hollande from the stadium, but when play was stopped many people in the crowd ran onto the field and huddled in fear.

Several other explosions took place in that area and officials say at least one may have been a suicide bombing.

Elsewhere in the French capital, several people were killed at a Cambodian restaurant. Attacks also reported at cafes.

Hundreds wounded

Authorities say about 200 people were wounded Friday, 80 of them seriously.

In Washington, President Barack Obama said the United States was ready to help in any way possible.

He called the coordinated attacks in Paris an “outrageous attempt to terrorize civilians.” Vice President Joe Biden said “such savagery can never threaten who we are.”

Secretary of State John Kerry described the attacks as “heinous, evil” and “vile.”

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said “the horrific and barbaric attacks in Paris were more than an attack on the nation or people of France – they were an assault on our common human dignity.”

U.S. officials said the embassy in France has been checking on the safety of all Americans in Paris. However, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said in the U.S. capital that there was “no specific or credible threat to the United States.” But security has been stepped up in some major U.S. cities as a precaution.

In a letter to President Hollande, European Council President Donald Tusk said “We will ensure that the tragic, shameful act of terrorism against Paris fails in its purpose: to divide, to frighten, and to undermine liberty, equality and fraternity, the values that make France a great nation.”

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron said on Twitter, “We will do whatever we can do to help.” He said he was shocked by the events in Paris and his thoughts and prayers are with the French people.

‘Despicable terrorist attacks’

At the United Nations, a spokesman said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “condemns the despicable terrorist attacks” and “demands the immediate release of the numerous individuals reportedly being held hostage in the Bataclan theater.”

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120 Killed In Coordinated Terror Attacks In Paris

France has declared a national state of emergency and has closed its borders after at least 120 people were killed in gun and bomb attacks in Paris.

Some 80 people are reported to have died at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris.

Gunmen took many hostages there before being overpowered by police.

Others died in a reported suicide blast near the Stade de France and gun attacks on city centre restaurants. Seven attackers are reported killed.

Paris residents have been asked to stay indoors and about 1,500 military personnel are being deployed across the city.

The deadliest attack appears to have targeted the Bataclan concert hall, with unconfirmed reports saying that some concert-goers were shot after being taken hostage. Police sources told AFP news agency that at least 100 people had died there.

Speaking after arriving at the concert hall, President Francois Hollande said the attackers would be fought “without mercy”.

At least three gunmen are reported to have been killed at the venue.

Attack sites:

Bataclan concert venue, 50 boulevard Voltaire, 11th district – hostages held
Le Carillon, 18 rue Alibert, 10th district – gun attack
Le Petit Cambodge, 20 rue Alibert, 10th district – gun attack
La Belle Equipe, 92 rue de Charonne, 11th district – gun attack
Near Stade de France, St Denis, just north of Paris – reported suicide bombing near venue as France v Germany football match played
Reports of gunfire at at least two other sites

US President Barack Obama spoke of “an outrageous attempt to terrorise innocent civilians”.

UK PM David Cameron said he was shocked and pledged to do “whatever we can to help”.
BBC

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