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Get your daily fix of what's hot on the continent and the diaspora, May 12.

SIERRA LEONE—The second largest diamond ever found in Sierra Leone, was up for action on Wednesday (May 11), but the bids, which reached 7.8 million dollars, did not meet the minimum asking price of 50 million dollars.


A re-auction is being planned in “The Diamond Capital of Europe,” Antwerp, Belgium.

The massive diamond was found by a Sierra Leonean pastor, Emmanuel Momoh.

"I want my diamond to be sold abroad so I can get the best price to enable many people to benefit from the proceeds," Pastor Emmanuel Momoh told AFP. Read the full story here.

ZIMBABWE—Robert Mugabe has been accused of falling asleep in meetings, but his spokesperson, George Charamba, has claimed that the president is “not sleeping, just resting his eyes,” says government spokesperson Geroge Charamba. "The president cannot suffer bright lights," he continued.

The 93-year-old president is currently receiving medical treatment in Singapore for eye complications. Read more via BBC Africa.

DIASPORA—Senegalese campaign manager, Sibeth Ndiaye, has been named press secretary for France’s new president-elect, Emmanuel Macron. Dakar-born Ndiaye, now 37, comes from a family of politicians, and was an integral part of Macron’s presidential campaign. Read more on Sibeth Ndiaye, here.

SOUTH AFRICA—Three students have been suspended at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, after posting Nazi-inspired posters on campus boards, reports BBC. The university will continue its investigation in the meantime.

“I have decided to suspend the three students suspected of misconduct while disciplinary proceedings are ongoing,” says Vice-Chancellor Wim de Villiers in a press statement.

“We will continue to take a stand against racism and unfair discrimination, and promote human rights, equality, human dignity and democracy. This we do in accordance with our own policies, as well as our commitment to the Constitution of South Africa and the Bill of Rights that it enshrines.” Read the full statement, here.

SOMALIA—The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a call to action in response to the drought and widespread famine facing the people of Somalia. WHO is concerned by the chronic shortage of funding for, read a news release. “Drought in Somalia led to the destruction of crops and livestock, leaving more than 3.3 million people hungry every day. If the current situation continues, famine could soon be a reality, creating a devastating cycle of hunger and disease as the health of people deteriorates and they become more susceptible to infection.”

Read the WHO’s full release here.

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Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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How CKay's 'Love Nwantiti' Became the World's Song

Nigerian singer and producer CKay talks to OkayAfrica about the rise of his international chart-topping single "Love Nwantiti," his genre-defying sound and the reasons behind this era of afrobeats dominance.