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All posts for the month May, 2012

News Flash:German Hostage Killed in Kano,Nigeria

Published May 31, 2012 by luchidotcom

Edgar Fritz Raupach was seized in the city of Kano.

In March, a British and an Italian hostage were also killed during a similar attempt to free them by British and Nigerian forces.

The latest developments came as the authorities said an Italian engineer had been kidnapped western Nigeria.

Kidnappings are uncommon in the western state of Kwara. But oil workers are often targeted for ransom in the south, and Islamist militants are active in northern Nigeria.

BBC Nigeria correspondent Will Ross says that worryingly the Nigerian security forces do not seem able to prevent the abductions and have once again shown the danger of trying to intervene to rescue the hostages.

Details about the circumstances of Thursday’s raid are still sketchy – police in Kano are due to brief the media later.

“The German abducted in January has been killed by his abductors early this morning,” a military official told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity.

“Following intelligence reports, men of [a military task force] raided a hideout where he was being held by his abductors.”

Residents in the west of the city say they heard gunfire during the morning.

A medical doctor has said he has seen the body, our correspondent reports.

A crisis team set up by Germany’s foreign ministry is trying to find out further information, German news website Die Welt reports.

It is not clear who was behind Mr Raupach’s abduction or if he was ever moved out of the country, but in March a video purported to be from al-Qaeda’s north African wing demanded that Germany free a woman jailed on terror charges in return for his release.

It was obtained by a private Mauritanian news agency, ANI, which frequently publishes statements by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which has previously kidnapped Europeans elsewhere in West Africa.

The Italian man abducted in Kwara reportedly works for Borini Prono, an Italian building and civil engineering firm that focuses mainly on roads.

A government spokesman in Kwara state confirmed to the BBC that the kidnapping had occurred and said the engineer was at a work site when he was seized on Monday.

An Italian foreign ministry spokeswoman said Italian officials were in contact with the Nigerian authorities and the man’s family.

“We can confirm an Italian engineer has been kidnapped. We don’t yet know why or by whom,” she told AFP.

A year ago, British national Chris McManus and Italian Franco Lamolinara were seized by gunmen in the north-western town of Birnin Kebbi.

Ten months later they were killed in a failed rescue attempt in the northern city of Sokoto, where officials said a splinter group of the Boko Haram Islamists were holding them.

Boko Haram denied any involvement.

News Source:BBC News

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Photos:A Look into Charles Taylor War Crimes in Pictures

Published May 31, 2012 by luchidotcom

Former Liberian head of state;Charles Taylor was yesterday tried and sentenced to 50 years in prison for crimes against humanity.

Taylor would be the first african former head of state to be convicted by the International Court of justice.

Speaking after the judgement,Taylor said he never really stood a chance.He’s always being a peace loving man….”let’s see how many more heads of state will be destroyed”he adds.

Taylor was caught when he tried escaping asylum in Nigeria and taken to the Hague to await trial.

He has to weeks to appeal his judgment

See some pictures of the wicked crimes committed during the long civil war in Liberia under Charles Taylor’s rule as head of state.

Picture Credit:UK Daily Mail

little marie Kroome also had one of her arm amputated by RUF

little marie Kroome also had one of her arm amputated by RUF

blood diamond miners

blood diamond miners

Maria Tukamara had her both arms amputated by RUF

Maria Tukamara had her both arms amputated by RUF

The Story of Black Diamond;A Female Victim of Charles Taylor’s Crimes

Published May 31, 2012 by luchidotcom

Black Diamond has never met Charles Taylor, but she still calls the day the former Liberian president was sentenced for crimes against humanity the happiest of her life.

“This is the man who ruined my future,” she says. “When I see him sentenced, maybe I will be able to move on. They say he will get 80 years. This will send an important message to the world that you can’t do terrible things and just get away with it.”

Taylor has been convicted of crimes including murder, rape and conscripting child soldiers in neighbouring Sierra Leone, but he wreaked havoc in his own country too. More than 200,000 people were killed in Liberia’s 14-year civil war, countless girls and women were raped and much of the population was displaced.

Black Diamond was 18 and a promising student when civil war broke out. She enjoyed a peaceful childhood in Voinjama, a town in the north of the country where her father worked as a doctor. During one of Taylor’s troops’ regular raids, in April 2000, her parents were killed and Diamond was gang-raped.

After regaining consciousness after the attack, she found her way to the headquarters of Sekou Conneh, the leader of Liberians United for Reconciliation & Democracy (Lurd) and begged him to take her in. When the compound was attacked soon after she arrived, she simply grabbed an AK-47 and joined in with the fighting.

Rising swiftly through the ranks Diamond became a colonel in Lurd’s Women’s Auxiliary Corps, developing a reputation as a ferocious fighter. Many of the women were, like her, survivors of rape by Taylor’s troops and many had come to the conclusion that becoming a fighter was the best way to protect themselves against further rapes. Diamond still refers to them fondly as her “girls”. Of the 12 she fought closely with, six died in the course of the war. “Becoming a fighter was the best thing I could do under the circumstances,” she says now. But she remains haunted by all the horrors she witnessed.

By all accounts, Diamond struck fear into the hearts of her opponents during the war, boldly wielding her AK-47 and staring death in the face without flinching. Yet in person she is quiet, almost diffident, her dark eyes downcast. In war she had a role: in peace, like many ex-combatants, she has struggled to reinvent herself. Ex-combatants are stigmatised in Liberian society and this attitude compounds her despair.

“I am suffering today because of what Charles Taylor did. The war took everything from me: my parents, my education and my future. I want to spread the message that we must pursue peace. We must make sure that we never see another war here in Liberia.”

Today she lives in a small, overcrowded place in the middle of the Liberian capital Monrovia, a city still bearing the physical scars of war and teeming with poverty-stricken people struggling to make a living. The water supply is uncertain, rats are a perennial problem and hunger is ever-present.

Black Diamond is one of the 85% of her country’s population living below the poverty line. She is a single parent caring for her two young children and three others who lost family members during the war. The children are plagued by bouts of malaria and her attempts to find a stable job have been unsuccessful.

She supports the work of the country’s president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who has tried hard to unite the Liberians, despite once supporting Taylor, as well as fellow Nobel prizewinner and peace campaigner Leymah Gbowee. Yet she supports the actions of her “girls”. “Liberian women have always been strong and we are proud to have the first female president in Africa. Before the war, rape was almost unknown in our country. When the rapes started, I and the other girls who fought were determined not to be victims. We wanted to fight back to show our attackers they couldn’t get away with such things and that they, not we, should feel shame for the rapes.”

She welcomes the opportunity to work with anyone who can help her spread the message of peace to try to protect the next generation from the horrors she experienced. “I am doing this for my girls,” she says. “Those who are lost and those who are living presently.

News Credit:the guardian

Former Liberian Presdent Charles Taylor Sentenced to 50 Years Imprisonment

Published May 30, 2012 by luchidotcom

Britain’s bill to house the despot could hit £65,000 a year after former foreign secretary Margaret Beckett pledged in 2007 to lock him up here if convicted.

The arrangement was a condition of him going on trial in The Hague.

The former president, 64, kept his eyes closed today as he was sentenced at a UN-backed war crimes court of arming rebels in neighbouring Sierra Leone in return for “blood diamonds”.

The rebels mined the diamonds with slave labour and murdered, raped and kept sex slaves during their ruthless campaign.

The brutal 1991-2001 civil war left 120,000 people dead and created an estimated 400,000 amputees after RUF fighters notoriously hacked off enemies’ arms, legs, noses and lips.

Fighters also forced children under 15 to take up arms.

Taylor was last month found guilty on all 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for aiding and abetting Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front (RUF).

Taylor had claimed the prosecution at the Special Court for Sierra Leone was politically motivated and insisted he had been instrumental in ending the war.

Judge Richard Lussick said: “The accused has been found responsible for aiding and abetting some of the most heinous crimes in human history.

“The trial chamber unanimously sentences you to a single term of imprisonment for 50 years on all counts.”

He went on: “The trial chamber noticed that the effects of these crimes on the families and society as a whole in Sierra Leone was devastating.”

One of those who testified at his trial was supermodel Naomi Campbell who told of a gift of “dirty diamonds” she received in 1997 at a charity ball hosted by South Africa’s then president Nelson Mandela.

Taylor is the first African head of state to be convicted by an international court.

His was also the first sentencing of a former head of state in an international court since the Nuremberg trials of prominent Nazis in 1946.

Chief prosecutor Brenda Hollis had been arguing for him to get 80 years behind bars.

Taylor has two weeks to appeal.

News Source:The Sun,UK

Photos:Nigerian Super Eagles Footballer Osaze Odemwingie Wed Longtime British Girlfriend Sarah Fallon.

Published May 30, 2012 by luchidotcom

That’s one hot bachelor off the market.Ladies you can stop hoping.

And I had this huge crush on him.Anyway Nigerian footballer and West Brom striker Osaze is now married.

He is married to long time girlfriend Sarah Fallon whom he met just two weeks after signing on to West Brom.

The elated footballer said getting married was the best contract he has ever signed.

Congrats and a happy married life to the new couple.

Jessica Simpson Cover the Front Page of People Magazine With New Born Daughter

Published May 30, 2012 by luchidotcom

Jessica Simpson is debuting newborn daughter Maxwell Drew on the cover of People.

In addition to a series of photos of the baby, Simpson says inside the magazine, “Life has completely changed” since her daughter’s arrival.

She explains, “From how I sleep to what I think about, Maxwell has definitely taken over everything!”

Nursing, she adds, has become “a full-on job.”

Simpson notes that she and fiance Eric Johnson “stare at [Maxwell] all the time… We can’t get enough!”

“It’s the worst if I have to pump and give Eric a bottle to give her… I miss holding her and having that closeness,” says the proud new mother.

What do you think of the magazine’s cover of Simpson and daughter Maxwell?