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FLASHPOINT: Most powerful bomb blast ever in Somalia’s capital kills over 300

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The most powerful bomb blast ever witnessed in Somalia’s capital killed at least 231 people with more than 275 injured, a senator said Sunday, making it the deadliest single attack in this Horn of Africa nation. The toll could continue to rise.

Abshir Abdi Ahmed cited doctors at overwhelmed hospitals he visited in Mogadishu a day after a truck bomb targeted a crowded street near key government ministries. Many of the bodies in mortuaries had not yet been identified, he said.

As angry protesters gathered near the scene of the attack, Somalia’s government blamed the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group for what it called a “national disaster.” However, Africa’s deadliest Islamic extremist group, which often targets high-profile areas of the capital, had yet to comment.

The Mogadishu bombing is one of the deadliest attacks in sub-Saharan Africa, larger than the Garissa University attack in Kenya in 2015 and the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

Doctors at Mogadishu hospitals struggled to assist badly wounded victims, many burned beyond recognition. “This is really horrendous, unlike any other time in the past,” said Dr. Mohamed Yusuf, the director of Medina hospital.

Inside, bleary-eyed nurses transported a man whose legs had been blown off. He waited as surgeons attended to another badly injured patient. Exhausted doctors struggled to keep their eyes open, while screams from victims and newly bereaved families echoed through the halls.

“Nearly all of the wounded victims have serious wounds,” said nurse Samir Abdi. “Unspeakable horrors.” The smell of blood was strong.

A teary-eyed Hawo Yusuf looked at her husband’s badly burned body. “He may die waiting,” she said. “We need help.”

Ambulance sirens echoed across the city as bewildered families wandered in the rubble of buildings, looking for missing relatives. “In our 10 year experience as the first responder in #Mogadishu, we haven’t seen anything like this,” the Aamin Ambulance service tweeted.

Grief overwhelmed many.

“There’s nothing I can say. We have lost everything,” wept Zainab Sharif, a mother of four who lost her husband. She sat outside a hospital where he was pronounced dead after hours of efforts by doctors to save him.

The country’s Somali-American leader, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, declared three days of mourning and joined thousands of people who responded to a desperate plea by hospitals to donate blood. “I am appealing all Somali people to come forward and donate,” he said.

Mogadishu, a city long accustomed to deadly bombings by al-Shabab, was stunned by the force of Saturday’s blast. The explosion shattered hopes of recovery in an impoverished country left fragile by decades of conflict, and it again raised doubts over the government’s ability to secure the seaside city of more than 2 million people.

“They don’t care about the lives of Somali people, mothers, fathers and children,” Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire said of the attackers. “They have targeted the most populated area in Mogadishu, killing only civilians.”

Rescue workers searched for survivors trapped under the rubble of the largely destroyed Safari Hotel, which is close to Somalia’s foreign ministry. The explosion blew off metal gates and blast walls erected outside the hotel.

The United States condemned the bombing, saying “such cowardly attacks reinvigorate the commitment of the United States to assist our Somali and African Union partners to combat the scourge of terrorism.” It tweeted a photo of its charge d’affaires in Somalia donating blood.

But the U.S. Africa Command said U.S. forces had not been asked to provide aid. A spokesman told The Associated Press that first responders and local enforcement would handle the response and “the U.S. would offer assistance if and when a request was made.”

The U.S. military has stepped up drone strikes and other efforts this year against al-Shabab, which is also fighting the Somali military and over 20,000 African Union forces in the country.

The United Nations special envoy to Somalia called the attack “revolting,” saying an unprecedented number of civilians had been killed. Michael Keating said the U.N. and African Union were supporting the Somali government’s response with “logistical support, medical supplies and expertise.”

The spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the attack and urged all Somalis to unite against extremism and work together to build a “functional” federal state.

Saturday’s blast occurred two days after the head of the U.S. Africa Command was in Mogadishu to meet with Somalia’s president, and two days after the country’s defense minister and army chief resigned for undisclosed reasons.

Amid the chaos, the stories of victims began to emerge. Amino Ahmed said one of her friends, a female medical student, was killed on the eve of her graduation. The explosion also killed a couple returning from a hospital after having their first child, said Dahir Amin Jesow, a Somali lawmaker.

“It’s a dark day for us,” he said. ref: AP/wire

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Aretha Franklin’s melodious voice, dignity and clarity were triple drivers of her artistic excellence. By Chido Nwangwu

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@Chido247

I believe that Aretha Franklin’s melodious voice, dignity and clarity were triple drivers which continue to make her artistic excellence a trans-generational gift to humanity.

Aretha Franklin who made an outstanding entry into both gospel and soul music with the release of her first album in 1956, titled ‘Songs of Faith’, died today, August 16, 2018, at her home in Detroit. She was 76 years old.

Aretha was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee.

She is the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and affectionately and deservedly called the Queen of Soul — especially in high regard for songs such as “Respect.” She was a part of the U.S civil rights movement.

I believe that Aretha Franklin’s melodious voice, dignity and clarity were triple drivers which continue to make her artistic excellence a trans-generational gift to humanity.

By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica [Houston], USAfricaonline.com and author of the soon-to-be-released 2018 book titled MLK, MANDELA & ACHEBE: Power, Leadership & Identity

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SOYINKA accuses OBASANJO of awarding OIL blocks in return for SEX

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Special to USAfrica [Houston] and USAfricaonline.com

 

Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka, calling former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a degenerate, liar, predator and sadist, has challenged him to swear whether he never awarded oil blocks in return for sexual gratification while he presided over the affairs of Nigeria.

Soyinka spoke in his Interventions VIII series, titled: ‘Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?’ also sub-titled ‘Gani’s Unfinished Business,” launched recently in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

He said Obasanjo knows him so well that he does not make accusations lightly and that he despises snide insinuations. “I now challenge you (Obasanjo) to search your soul, very deeply, and swear to this nation that you never awarded oil blocks in return for sexual gratification. I do not make accusations lightly and I despise snide insinuations. I believe you know me well enough. And I am no prude, I am not a hypocrite of sexual desire, nor am I interested in the seamy side of Power. Take your time, think deeply and remember that each day brings you closer and closer to your Maker and the Day of Judgment-going by your own

Chief Olusegun_Obasanjo355_via_USAfricaonline.com

professions.”

Soyinka said sex-for-grades as a solution to that burdensome energy seemed to have become the practice, saying that even when Donald Trump and Bill Clinton were accused of sexual misconduct, no one ever accused Trump of using his nation’s assets for a romp on the presidential desk of the oval office and that not even Clinton who nearly lost his office through Monica Lewinsky, was ever accused of passing off any of the White House heirlooms, or influenced contracts in return for sexual favour. “If I denounce you (Obasanjo) as a degenerate in need of help, remember that I do not require fiction. Verifiable truth is solemnly at my disposal. I do not concoct a thousand snipers for a thousand listed enemies of governance-one of the most impudent egregious fantasies ever manufactured by a former ruler, simply to destroy a successor and persuade oneself that one is a maker and breaker of governments,” he said. Soyinka also said that during Obasanjo’s celebration of the 10th anniversary of his Presidential library, the former president accused him of blocking his ambitions to become the Secretary General of the United Nations.

According to Soyinka, “could someone please stop crediting me with that level of international clout? Of course, I feel totally content and fulfilled with my contribution to that operation to ‘save our world’ from the clutches of a predator, sadist and liar-convincing evidence of which we provided in our successful diplomatic offensive-but the umbrage should also go to that very Femi Falana and the late Beko Ransome-Kuti, with whom I worked in close collaboration.”

Soyinka also said that under Obasanjo’s watch, and with proven collaboration, an elected governor was kidnapped, locked in a toilet and held there under duress to force him to sign cheques on the state treasury, saying that “he escaped confinement, thanks to a sympathetic policeman , but the state went up in flames. The state radio and television houses were torched. The House of Assembly and the law courts—my own special preserve-were vandalized. Who did you say was President at that time?” Soyinka made reference to a letter written to Obasanjo by Col. Abubakar Umar, in which the former military governor accused Obasanjo of awarding oil block indiscriminately and illegally. (News Agency of Nigeria and PMNews)

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USAfrica BrkNEWS: Invasion of Nigeria’s National Assembly, Trump’s adviser says Daura is Buhari’s enforcer

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@Chido247

The latest disgrace brought upon Nigeria by a mix of masked and armed operatives of the Department of State Security [DSS], acting at the orders of the Director General of the DSS, Lawal Musa Daura, on Tuesday morning of August 8, 2018, prevented  lawmakers and staff from gaining access into the NASS building until voices were raised against the intrusion continues to draw local and international reactions.

One of U.S President Donald Trump’s security advisers on Africa has told Houston-based USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com that “the White House has held cautious reservation about the genuineness of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to democracy and diversity in Nigeria.”

He made the point that Mr. Daura is an enforcer of the Buhari agenda, spoken and unspoken; “they’re very close….”

Meanwhile, retired General Buhari’s deputy who is currently Nigeria’s acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, a professor of law, has sacked Daura.

Also, the USAfrica News Index show that “U.S President Donald J. Trump, this afternoon Monday April 30, 2018 at the White House, told visiting Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari that his government is not only monitoring but outraged by  “very serious problems with christians who are being murdered, killed in Nigeria.”

The transcription of Trump’s statement by USAfricaonline.com reads:

“We’ve had very serious problems with christians who are being murdered, killed in Nigeria. We’re going to be working on that problem; and working on that problem very, very hard… because we can’t allow that to happen.”

Buhari, a retired army General and dictator/ruler (1984-1986), attempted to minimize those issues when he claimed, contrary to video evidence and eyewitness accounts, that the “farmers and herdsmen” only carry stick and machete; not AK-47s and other deadly weapons. Across the social media, Nigerians share pictures/videos of them brandishing weapons.

Obama administration and Buhari’s started a deal for Nigeria to purchase up to 12 Embraer A-29 Super Tucano aircraft with sophisticated targeting gear for almost $600 million.

By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica [Houston], USAfricaonline.com and author of the soon-to-be-released 2018 book titled MLK, MANDELA & ACHEBE: Power, Leadership & Identity

 

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