INTELDROP 04 March 2016 [Africa]

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Middle East and African Affairs  Correspondent – Megan Introna

Barclays Bank Downsizing in Africa and Emerging Markets

1 March 2016

QUARTZ (CAPETOWN) — Barclays, a British multinational banking and financial services company, plans to sell 62% of its shares in Barclays Africa Group Limited within the next three years as part of plans to downsize its presence in emerging markets. According to Barclays’s officials, the company is reducing its shares in response to losses in other areas, not Africa’s economic climate.  However, fluctuating currency values across Africa, especially in South Africa, have been costly for the company. Experts fear that Barclays’s actions will negatively impact future investment in South Africa. Source: http://qz.com/630237/barclays-plan-to-quit-africa-isnt-just-about-the-african-economic-slowdown/  (Reliability: Moderate)

US Sends Emergency Aid to Ethiopia

3 March 2016

CNN (WASHINGTON) — According to Gayle Smith, administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US is sending disaster response teams to northern Ethiopia in order to prevent a major humanitarian crisis. Smith also called on other countries to provide additional aid. The Ethiopian government estimates that the drought will affect over 20 million people. Ethiopia is a major US partner for counterterrorism operations in the Horn of Africa. USAID considers Ethiopia’s drought a climate-related threat to US national security.  Source: http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/03/politics/ethiopia-us-disaster-assistance-drought/index.html  (Reliability: Moderate)

Cameroon Attacks Related to Boko Haram’s Food Crisis

4 March 2016

NY TIMES (MORA) — According to the State Department, the hunt for food is the primary reason Boko Haram is increasing activity in Cameroon. Boko Haram has attacked villages in the Far North region of Cameroon near the Nigeria-Cameroon border and taken cattle, goats, and food. The blocking of supply routes, decreased trade in the region, and the migration of farmers and citizens away from northeastern Nigeria have all contributed to Boko Haram’s food shortage. The shortage has not affected Boko Haram’s ability to carryout deadly attacks. Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/05/world/africa/boko-haram-food-crisis.html?_r=0 (Reliability: Moderate)

Food Shortages Lead Seventy-six Boko Haram Members to Surrender

3 March 2016 

IBT (GWOZA) — Seventy-six Boko Haram members, including women and children, surrendered to the Nigerian army in Gwoza, located in Borno State. The military reported that those who surrendered were starving and begging for food, thus linking the surrender to Boko Haram’s food shortage. Those who surrendered also claim that many more Boko Haram fighters want to surrender. The Nigerian military is currently holding them at the military headquarters in Maiduguri.  Source: http://www.ibtimes.com/nigeria-starving-boko-haram-members-surrender-borno-state-2329473  (Reliability: Moderate)

Sixty-three Boko Haram Captives Rescued

4 March 2016

PREMIUM TIMES (ABUJA) — Nigerian Special Forces cleared Boko Haram hideouts in the villages of Lawin Meleri, Matiri Bulaka and Aljeri. During this operation, forces rescued 63 Boko Haram captives and killed five Boko Haram members. In a separate operation, the Nigerian Army cleared and destroyed seven of Boko Haram’s camps in the Alagarno Forest located in Borno State. Source: http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/199502-nigerian-troops-attack-boko-harams-spiritual-base-rescues-63.html (Reliability: Moderate)

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