Nigeria appoints new commander against Boko Haram

Boko Haram attacks on military targets have spiked in recent months. (File/AFP)
Updated 12 November 2018

Nigeria appoints new commander against Boko Haram

  • Despite government insistence that Boko Haram is near defeat, northeastern Nigeria is still hit by regular attacks
  • The conflict has claimed more than 27,000 lives since 2009 and nearly two million people still cannot return to their homes in the Lake Chad region

ABUJA, Nigeria: The Nigerian Army has appointed a new commander to lead the fight against Boko Haram militants in the country’s restive northeast, where attacks on military targets have spiked in recent months.
Major General Benson Akinroluyo has replaced Major General Abba Dikko as head of Operation Lafiya Dole, according to an army statement released at the weekend.
Akinroluyo becomes the fifth commander in two years to head the fight against the Islamist insurgents, who have staged a series of attacks on military bases, killing dozens.
Dikko was only appointed in July. Since then there have been at least nine attacks on military bases, most of them in the northern part of Borno state near the shores of Lake Chad.
Most have been blamed on or claimed by the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a Daesh-backed faction of Boko Haram whose recent activities have prompted speculation the group has been taken over by hard-liners.
The conflict has claimed more than 27,000 lives since 2009 and nearly two million people still cannot return to their homes in the Lake Chad region.
Despite government insistence that Boko Haram is near defeat, northeastern Nigeria is still hit by regular attacks.
On Saturday, hundreds of people were forced to flee their homes when Boko Haram raided Jimmi, a village near the key city of Maiduguri, torching homes and carting away livestock.


Biden slams Trump friendship with ‘thug’ Kim

Updated 23 October 2020

Biden slams Trump friendship with ‘thug’ Kim

  • Trump insists that he has avoided war through his summits with Kim Jong Un
  • Trump calls India, China air ‘filthy’ as he hits Biden’s stance on climate change

NASHVILLE, USA: Democratic candidate Joe Biden on Thursday denounced President Donald Trump for befriending North Korea’s “thug” leader, likening his diplomacy to working with Hitler.
In a sharp clash in their final presidential debate, Biden attacked Trump’s insistence that he has avoided war through his summits with Kim Jong Un.
“He’s talked about his good buddy, who’s a thug,” Biden said of the young North Korean leader.
“That’s like saying we had a good relationship with Hitler before he invaded Europe — the rest of Europe. Come on.”
But Biden indicated he was also willing to meet with Kim, saying his condition would be that Pyongyang works to make the Korean peninsula “a nuclear-free zone.”
Trump said that former president Barack Obama had left him “a mess” on North Korea and had warned him of the risk of “nuclear war.”
After the summits, “we have a very good relationship. And there’s no war,” said Trump, who also played down North Korea’s recent unveiling of a massive new long-range missile at a military parade.
“He didn’t like Obama,” Trump said of Kim not meeting the former president. “He didn’t like him. He wouldn’t do it.”
Biden, who was vice president under Obama, hit back that Obama would not meet Kim because he was pushing stronger sanctions.
“President Obama said we’re going to talk about denuclearization. We’re not going to legitimize you.”
Trump first met in June 2018 with Kim in Singapore, the first-ever summit between the countries still technically at war, and later said that the two leaders “fell in love.”
The two leaders have met two more times and North Korea has since held off on nuclear and missile tests but analysts say Pyongyang has kept advancing its weapons programs.

Climate change
On climate change, Trump described the air in India and China as “filthy” as he denounced Biden’s plans to tackle the controversial issue.
“Look at China, how filthy it is. Look at Russia, look at India — it’s filthy. The air is filthy,” Trump said.
Trump charged that Biden’s climate plan was an “economic disaster” for oil states such as Texas and Oklahoma.
Biden said that climate change is “an existential threat to humanity. We have a moral obligation to deal with it.”
“We’re going to pass the point of no return within the next eight to 10 years,” he said.
The planet has already warmed by around one degree Celsius (34 degrees Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial levels, enough to boost the intensity of deadly heat waves, droughts and tropical storms.
Trump has pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord, which aims to cap global warming “well below” two degrees Celsius.
Trump’s remarks come days before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper visit New Delhi for talks on building the growing US-India partnership.
At the first presidential debate, Trump also spoke critically of India, questioning its coronavirus data amid criticism of Trump’s handling of the pandemic.