State projects leave tens of thousands of lives in the balance in Ethiopia study

Giant dam and irrigated sugar plantations mean people in lower Omo valley face starvation and conflict, says US thinktank A giant dam and irrigated sugar plantations are wreaking havoc in southern Ethiopia and threaten to wipe out tens of thousands of indigenous peoples , a US-based thinktank has claimed. The Gibe III, Africas tallest dam. Since late 2015, the dam has stopped the rivers annual flood, a natural event that the valleys inhabitants have relied upon for centuries for farming. As a result, entire communities have been tipped into destitution. Responding to the report, Seleshi Bekele, Ethiopias minister of water, irrigation and electricity , said that while the government accepts there are problems, the points raised in the paper are …

French hostage says ordeal in Burkina Faso was ‘hell’

Paris (CNN)A French hostage, freed in Burkina Faso on Thursday during on overnight rescue in which two soldiers were killed, has described the experience as “hell.” “Our thoughts are for the families of the soldiers and the soldiers who lost their life to free us from this hell,” he added, according to CNN affiliate BFMTV. Lassimouillas and his compatriot, Patrick Picque, will travel to Paris on Saturday to receive a full health examination, before meeting President Emmanuel Macron. The pair were kidnapped on May 1 while in the neighboring West African country of Benin, according to the Elysee. Their safari guide was found dead in Pendjari National Park and their vehicle was burned, Reuters reported. Four terrorists were killed in …

The old men vying to lead Africa’s youngest population

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)On first look, not much separates the two front-runners contesting Nigeria’s presidential election. Both are men in their 70s with previous experience of high-level politics. Both are from the same ethnic group. And both are Muslims from the north of the country. Abubakar, who served as vice president from 1999 to 2007, is a staunch capitalist who made his fortune investing in various sectors in the country. Regardless of who the electorate picks — and there are 70 more candidates to choose from — the outcome will dramatically shape the fortunes of Nigeria’s more than 190 million people. The vote comes at a critical time for the country’s economy, a lynchpin of the region. The recent oil price …