- - Wednesday, December 28, 2011

NIGERIA

Islamic school attack wounds 6 students, teacher

LAGOS | Attackers threw homemade explosives inside an Islamic school in a predominantly Christian city where some 50 children had gathered for an Arabic class, wounding six pupils and a teacher, authorities said Wednesday.

The rare attack in Nigeria’s oil-rich southern delta comes just days after radical Islamic militants set off a series of explosions across the country on Christmas, leaving at least 39 dead and dozens wounded.

Analysts say it is too early to speak of retaliation following the attacks by Boko Haram, but worry about what such violence could mean.

The school was attacked Tuesday in Sapele, Delta State police spokesman Charles Muka said.

“Sapele just seems like the most unlikely place for a retaliatory attack to take place,” criminologist Innocent Chukwuma said.

“But if it is, this would play right into Boko Haram, which has been looking to escalate the conflict to make the country ungovernable.”

SOUTH AFRICA

Designer’s clothing line named for fiery youth leader

JOHANNESBURG | A young South African fashion designer is planning to launch a clothing label named after the ruling African National Congress’ suspended youth leader Julius Malema.

“It is about celebrating my hero,” Obakeng Ramadobu told the Sowetan newspaper from China, where he is attempting to secure a deal for the manufacture of his “Juju label” clothing range.

Mr. Ramadobu said he initially wanted to launch his clothing line in January to coincide with the African National Congress’ centenary but decided to delay it because he “did not want to disrespect the ANC.”

The ANC Youth League has stressed that it is not involved in the initiative. Mr. Malema told the paper he has no reason to interfere with the designer’s commercial endeavor.

Once a staunch ally of President Jacob Zuma, Mr. Malema, 30, has threatened to secure his removal as head of the party during the ANC’s next leadership conference in December 2012.

GUINEA-BISSAU

African Union chief arrives after coup scare

BISSAU | The African Union’s top executive arrived in Guinea-Bissau for talks Wednesday and said he was concerned two days after the troubled West African state’s army chief claimed to have foiled a coup.

“The events that occurred in your country have prompted me to seek meetings with the authorities to review the situation,” AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping told reporters at the airport here.

“The situation is a source of concern for the African Union. That is why I am here, to help the country return to stability,” he said, urging the country’s leaders, military and population to work for peace.

Mr. Ping is expected to hold talks with Speaker Raimundo Pereira, who is the interim head of state in the absence of President Malam Bacai Sanha, who is undergoing medical care in France.

Mr. Ping also is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Jr.

On Monday, Guinea-Bissau’s army chief, Antonio Indjai, said loyalist forces had thwarted a coup attempt masterminded by the country’s navy chief, who is now under arrest.

One soldier was killed the next night as soldiers combed the seaside capital for suspected conspirators, and a police commander wanted in the alleged rebellion subsequently was fatally shot.

Since independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau’s history has been studded with coups, mutinies and political murders. The small state also has become a drug-trafficking hub, mostly for cocaine from South America to Europe.