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Report urges jobs for youth population

ABUJA | Nigeria risks social unrest in the coming years unless the oil-rich nation takes advantage of its resources and creates jobs for its swelling youth population, a report released on Wednesday warned.

The report, commissioned by the British Council, said Africa’s most populous nation “could reap an enormous economic dividend in the next 20 years if it creates opportunities for its young people — but faces a demographic disaster if it fails.”

Conducted by an independent panel of Nigerians, including economists and ex-ministers, the report said the country in the next two decades will have an abundant supply of young workers.

If the country continues with current levels of economic growth, creates jobs and boosts health and education standards, more than 30 million people could be lifted out of poverty by 2030, the report said.


Gunmen target plane carrying aid workers

JOHANNESBURG | Gunmen in eastern Congo fired Wednesday on a private plane carrying international aid workers who escaped into the forest and are in hiding, the regional director of International Medical Corps told the Associated Press.

Miel Hendrickson of the Los Angeles-based agency said U.N. peacekeepers were on the way to rescue the three Americans and one Georgian who were on the aircraft and two Congolese staff who were at the landing strip outside Walikale mining town when the shooting erupted.

A pilot was kidnapped at Walikale airport a few weeks earlier, Ms. Hendrickson said.

The aid workers are part of a team treating scores of people raped in rebel attacks July 30 to Aug. 4 in villages about 40 miles from Walikale.

Ms. Hendrickson said the number of people treated for rape in those attacks has risen to 242 from 192 last week. More and more survivors who had fled into dense forest have been coming out of hiding each day — some women completely naked, aid workers said.

The attacks took place within miles of a U.N. peacekeeping camp for about 80 Indian soldiers, and thousands of Congolese troops based at Walikale, a 90-minute drive from the villages, raising questions about why nothing was done.

From wire dispatches and staff reports