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Today in African History

Today in African History

2002        May 20, Liberia rejected a cease-fire appeal by neighboring West African nations and ordered its forces to look for a missing British priest and 60-blind Liberian civilians last seen May 13.

2004        May 20, In Uganda rebels raided the northern village of Gulu, hacking and burning to death at least 25 people, including eight children.

2006        May 20, President Hosni Mubarak opened the World Economic Forum in a booming Red Sea resort with a surprisingly tough speech that signaled deepening strains in the once-ironclad links with Egypt’s American allies and benefactors. PM Ahmed Nazif said the Egyptian government is not in a hurry to change the country’s political system.

2007        May 20, In Kenya 6 men were beheaded over the weekend in villages on the outskirts of Nairobi. This came weeks after members of the Mungiki sect fought with the police over control of minibus terminals, where they have been extorting money from drivers. 7 people were soon arrested in connection with the be-headings.

2007        May 20, Police in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara arrested three leading human rights campaigners following weeks of crackdowns against students and activists in the territory.

2007        May 20, Officials said Nigeria’s largest state has sued US drug firm Pfizer for allegedly using 200 children as “guinea pigs” for a drug test in 1996 that led to multiple deaths and deformities. In 2010 a leaked WikiLeaks cable said Pfizer hired investigators to unearth evidence of corruption against Nigeria’s former attorney general Michael Aondoakaa to persuade him to drop legal action over the company’s experimental antibiotic, Trovan.

2007        May 20, A bomb detonated in Mogadishu near the mayor’s vehicle convoy, leaving at least two civilians dead. His bodyguards shot and killed a suspected insurgent who had been in a tree near the explosion.

2008        May 20, In Ethiopia 3 people were killed and four wounded when a bomb exploded near the foreign ministry in central Addis Ababa.

2008        May 20, In Sudan deadly fighting raged between rival forces in Abyei, a flashpoint oil district between north and south whose status remains contested three years after the end of civil war. 22 government troops died in fighting that threatened the peace process.

2008        May 20, Guinea’s Pres. Conte unexpectedly fired PM Kouyate. Junior troops disgruntled over back pay and demanding that Guinea’s top generals resign began firing into the air at several military bases on the outskirts of the capital, Conakry. They took the army’s second-in-command hostage.

2009        May 20, In Somalia an attack by Islamic insurgents on Somali troops near an African Union peacekeeping base in Mogadishu killed at least three civilians, including one child, as regional leaders met to discuss ways of aiding the beleaguered government.

2010        May 20, In Sudan Darfur’s most militarized rebel group (JEM), said it had killed 200 Sudanese government troops in the western region over the previous 2 days, but the army denied the toll in the latest fighting to cloud troubled peace talks

2011        May 20, In Libya NATO fighter jets struck three ports in bombing runs overnight, targeting Gadhafi’s navy with a goal of protecting the nearby rebel-held port of Misrata. A NATO strike this morning hit a police academy in the Tripoli neighborhood of Tajoura. An international aid group said that 3,800 Chadians who fled fighting in Libya are stranded in a remote desert town in northern Chad. NATO warplanes bombed command centers near Tripoli and in the southwest as part of a continuing effort to cut communications links between Gadhafi and his units on the battlefields.

2012        May 20, Algerian newspapers reported that security services have arrested a large number of armed Algerian Islamists in the country’s northeastern Tebessa region as they were preparing to enter Libya.

2012        May 20, In Libya Abdel Baset al-Megrahi (60), a Libyan intelligence officer who was the only person ever convicted in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, died nearly three years after he was released from a Scottish prison.

2012        May 20, Sudan released 4 United Nations deminers, arrested over 3 weeks ago by the Sudanese army along the country’s tense southern border, and turned them over to chief African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki.

2013        May 20, In eastern CongoDRC clashes erupted near Muja between government troops and the M23 rebel group, believed to be backed by neighboring Rwanda.

2013        May 20, In Libya militiamen attacked the Mellitah Oil and Gas complex near Zwara, injuring two guards and stealing weapons and military vehicles.

2014        May 20, Kenyan university students threw rocks at police in Nairobi as authorities fired back with tear gas in running battles that didn’t end until police cornered students in a campus building and fired dozens of rounds of tear gas inside. Students demonstrated in at least four cities across the country over a proposed increase in university fees.

2014        May 20, In Libya gunmen killed a Chinese engineer after kidnapping him and two others from their worksite. The two others were released.

2014        May 20, Malawi held presidential elections. Soldiers deployed the commercial capital of Blantyre after voters, angered by delays and mishaps at polling stations in a hotly contested presidential election, torched voting materials and blocked roads. Incumbent President Joyce Banda, southern Africa’s first female head of state, faced 11 challengers. On May 30 the electoral commission said Mutharika, the brother of former president Bingu wa Mutharika, took 36.4% of the votes cast against Banda’s 20.2%.

2015        May 20, Chadian lawmakers voted to indefinitely extend the mandate of troops participating in a regional effort to combat Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamist militants until the joint mission was completed.

2015        May 20, Nigeria’s army said 579 officers and troops faced charges for alleged offenses related to the campaign against Boko Haram.

2016        May 20, In Egypt a group of Muslims set fire to seven houses belonging to Christians and stripped a woman (70) naked in the southern province of Minya after rumors that her Christian son had an affair with a Muslim woman.

2016        May 20, In Nigeria former militants of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) called for a halt to a resurgence of attacks on oil and gas facilities in Nigeria’s Niger Delta, saying it is an unnecessary distraction for President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

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