Rescue workers have unearthed 499 dead bodies since last week's devastating landslide near the Sierra Leone capital Freetown, the city's chief coroner told Reuters on Sunday.
One of Africa's worst flooding-related disasters in years occurred when the side of Mount Sugar Loaf collapsed on Monday after heavy rain, burying parts of Regent town and overwhelming relief efforts in one of the world's poorest countries.
Authorities this week buried 461 bodies in quickly-dug graves in the nearby Waterloo cemetery, near the site of a mass burial for victims of the Ebola crisis that killed 4,000 people in the former British colony between 2014 and 2016.
Thirty-eight more bodies were found on Sunday, said chief coroner Seneh Dumbuya, bringing the official death toll to 499. They were being sent for immediate burial, he said.
The Red Cross said on Friday that over 600 are still missing.
An increasingly desperate search continued on Sunday on the steep hillside under the wet red mud, as the likelihood of finding survivors was all but extinguished.
Authorities said they were concentrating on digging up bodies to stop fluids from contaminated corpses getting into the water supply and spreading disease.
"We are doing all we can to ensure cholera does not break out," said Samuel Turay, an official at the health ministry.
The threat of deadly landslides is growing in west and central Africa as rainfall, deforestation and urban populations rise, experts say.
On Thursday, a landslide in remote eastern Congo crushed the mud houses of a lake-side fishing village, potentially killing over 200 people, a local official told Reuters.
An accident has beenreported on the highway linking Yaounde and Bafoussam today, Sunday 20.08.2017.The accident, involving a Toyoto Hiace a bus , is said to have claimed dozens of lives at the spot.The acident occured at a small locality called Nkometou.
This acccident comes barely a night after the Muyuka tragedy in which a nineteen-seater bus and a cargo truck crashed at Mile 29, Ekona. Eye witness account hold that, the heavily-loaded cargo truck from the nation’s industrial hub, Douala, collided with a nineteen-seater bus transporting members of the Buea-based “wana wa wonja” choir, from Muyuka to Buea. As reports hold it, upon descending the sloppy Mile 29 hill, the cargo truck, cripplingly loaded with beverages and other consumer goods, experienced a brake malfunction which delivered the truck into the unwelcoming arms of the nineteen-seater bus whose members, this reporter gathered, were from a night vigil. Even though it is yet unclear how many passengers boarded the bus, the corpses recovered from the accident scene were nineteen while the driver of the cargo equally lost his life bringing the death toll to twenty.
Tragic accident this morning at mile 2,9 on the highway to Muyuka from Buea. A truck which had a brake failure crushed a 30 seater bus. All the 20 persons who were on board are reported dead.
This incident is the latest in a wave of deadly car accidents in Cameroon.An investigation is underway.
Road accidents are common place in Cameroon. Sometimes they are caused by high speed; uncalculated overtaking; and bad roads, full of potholes.
Cameroon is currently bathed in a sensitization campaign on how to use roads in order to reduce accidents.
Most people in Cameroon drive without passing through a driving school.
Below is a version of the government's reaction to the recent wave of protests at the Embassies of Cameroon in Canada, South Africa, London and the town hall meeting which ended in a fiasco in Brussels Belguim.
The article was published by the country's state owned national TV (CRTV).
Communication Minister condemns vandalism in certain embassies
The Minister of Communication has condemned in very strong terms, acts of vandalism perpetrated by Cameroonians in the diaspora in some of Cameroon’s embassies abroad recently.
Issa Tchiroma Bakary said investigations as to what happened have been opened.
He said information and videos of the incidents have been circulating on social media networks and some homebased media organs.
These mean acts were reported at a time when delegations from Cameroon were dispatched abroad to explain to compatriots of the diaspora the situation in the English speaking South West and North West regions of Cameroon.
The exchanges with Cameroonian communities were successful in some cases while serious incidents of vandalism were reported in other countries. In these countries, the national flag was desecrated, meetings were interrupted, violence and assault were reported.
The acts were said to be committed by secessionists activists who militate for the partition of Cameroon.
Some of them even went as far as to hoist in a diplomatic mission of Cameroon the flag of the imaginary country that they want to create.
The Minister said by desecrating the flag, the activities tempered with one of the core emblems of the country, for it represents the identity, sovereignty and authority of the Nation.
A symbol which is always treated with respect and admiration, its hoisting and lowering always a heraldry due to the solemnity attached to it.
Issa Tchiroma Bakary, government's spokesman, condemned with extreme energy these reprehensible acts and reiterated Cameroonian's determination to remain one and indivisibile.
The country Cameroon is the will of the people and it is also the will of the United Nations. The current borders of Cameroon are known and deposited at the United Nations and all member countries of this institution have an obligation and mission to respect the configuration of Cameroon as it is validated. The Minister added that there is no country in the world, member of the United Nations, that could derogate from the sacrosanct principle that was validated by that body.
Cameroon is a signatory of the Charter of the United Nations and to all conventions and charters protecting human rights.
The only thing that any country can ask of Cameroon is respect for human rights.
Issa Tchiroma said the founding fathers of our nation left a country at the cost of their blood, their sufferings, their lives, that they shaped this Cameroon, it is therefore an individual and collective responsibility to honour the memory of those who departed and to transmit this heritage.
He said all Cameroonians, Christians, Muslims, and animists, English or French, from North to South, East to West are determined to fight until the last drop of their blood to keep the nation united, strong and prosperous.
The mass abduction of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls from Chibok - the biggest publicity coup of Boko Haram's jihadist insurgency - was the accidental outcome of a botched robbery, say the girls who spent three years in their brutal captivity.
The Chibok girls made the surprise revelation in secret diaries they kept while held prisoner and a copy of which has been exclusively obtained by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Recalling the night of their kidnapping in April 2014, Naomi Adamu described in the diaries how Boko Haram had not come to the school in Chibok to abduct the girls, but rather to steal machinery for house building.
Unable to find what they were looking for, the militants were unsure what to do with the girls.
Arguments swiftly ensued.
"One boy said they should burn us all, and they (some of the other fighters) said: 'No, let us take them with us to Sambisa (Boko Haram's remote forest base) ... if we take them to Shekau (the group's leader), he will know what to do'", Adamu wrote.
She was one of about 220 girls who were stolen from their school in the northeastern town of Chibok one night in April 2014 - a raid that sparked an international outcry and a viral campaign on social media with the hashtag #bringbackourgirls.
Championed by former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama - along with a diverse cast of media celebrities - the campaign won international infamy for Boko Haram and helped galvanise the Nigerian government into negotiating for the girls' release.
Adamu was among 82 of the Chibok girls released by Boko Haram in May - part of a second wave after 21 of them were freed in October. They are being held in a secret location in Abuja for what the government has called a "restoration process".
A few others have escaped or been rescued, but about 113 of the girls are believed to be still held by the militant group.
The authenticity of the diaries, written by Adamu and her friend Sarah Samuel, cannot be verified, nor their intended role as the government negotiates with Boko Haram for more releases.
The diaries shed light not only on the horrors the girls endured under Boko Haram, but their acts of resistance, and their staunch belief that they would one day go home.
The girls said they started documenting their ordeal a few months after the abduction, when Boko Haram - whose name loosely means 'Western education is sinful' in the local Hausa language - gave them exercise books to use during Koranic lessons.
To hide the diaries from their captors, the girls would bury the notebooks in the ground, or carry them in their underwear.
Three of the other Chibok girls also contributed to the undated chronicles, which were written mainly in passable English, with some parts scribbled in less coherent Hausa.
"We wrote it together. When one person got tired, she would give it to another person to continue," Adamu, 24, said from the state safe house in the capital, where the girls are being kept for assessment, rehabilitation and debriefing by the government.
"CONVERT OR BURN"
Life in the Sambisa involved regular beatings, Koranic lessons, domestic drudgery and pressure to marry and convert.
The girls' spirits remained intact, as they devised amusing and mocking nicknames for the fighters, the diaries show.
Yet cruelty and brutality were ever present.
When five girls tried to escape, the militants tied them up, dug a hole in the ground, and turned to one of their classmates.
The jihadists handed her a blade and issued a chilling ultimatum: 'cut off the girls' heads, or lose your own'.
"We are begging them. We are crying. They said if next we ran away, they are going to cut off our necks," Adamu wrote.
On another occasion, the militants gathered those girls who had refused to embrace Islam, brought out jerrycans and threatened to douse them in petrol then burn them alive.
"They said: 'You want to die. You don't want to be Muslim,(so) we are going to burn you," read the diary entry.
As fear set in, the militants cracked into laughter - the cans contained nothing but water, the girls wrote.
FEAR DOES THEIR BIDDING
One of the most striking excerpts illustrates the pervasive fear spread by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria, where the group has killed 20,000 people and uprooted at least 2 million in a brutal campaign that shows no signs of ending soon.
During their captivity in the Sambisa forest, some of the Chibok girls escaped, and ended up in a nearby shop where they asked the owners for help, as well as food and water.
"The girls said: 'We are those that Boko Haram kidnapped from (the school) in Chibok,'" Adamu wrote. "One of the people (in the shop) said: 'Are these not Shekau's children?'"
The shop owners let the girls stay the night.
But the next day they took them back to Boko Haram's base, where the girls were whipped and threatened with decapitation.
Despite being flushed with relief at her own freedom, Adamu worries about her closest friend and co-author, Samuel, who is still with the group, having married one of its militants.
"She got married because of no food, no water," Adamu said from the government safe house in Abuja.
"Not everbody can survive that kind of thing," she added. "I feel pained ... so pained. I'm still thinking about her."