World Tour – Vigils for Leah Sharibu, and violence in Haiti

NICK EICHER, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: World Tour with Africa reporter Onize Ohikere.

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Remembering Leah Sharibu—We start today here in Africa.

AUDIO: [Leah Sharibu mother]

Last week marked two years of captivity for Leah Sharibu, the Christian schoolgirl kidnapped in Nigeria by Boko Haram. Members of several Christian groups joined Leah’s mother to urge the government to secure her freedom.

AUDIO: We want to appeal to the Federal Government as Leah’s mother has appealed, that based on the promises they have made to do everything possible to ensure that Leah is set free.

Members of a Boko Haram faction kidnapped Leah and her Muslim schoolmates in February 2018 from her boarding school in the northeastern town of Dapchi. The insurgents released the other captives but kept Leah when she refused to renounce her faith. President Muhammadu Buhari promised to bring Leah home not long after her kidnapping. But attempts to negotiate her release have failed.

Attack on carnival in Germany—Next we go to Europe.

AUDIO: [Germany carnival attack]

Police in Germany are investigating what appears to be a deliberate attack on a carnival Monday. A 29-year-old local man drove his car into a crowd, injuring 35 people. About half the victims are children.

AUDIO: [German police spokesman]

A police spokesman said investigators are still looking at possible motives. But the country is already on edge following several attacks by white supremacist groups. 

On Sunday, some 10,000 people marched through the streets of Hanau to honor nine people killed in a mass shooting last week. Many of the victims were of Turkish descent. The 43-year-old gunman called for the “complete extermination” of non-white races in an online manifesto.

Germany is facing a dramatic increase in ultra nationalism and xenophobia. The far-right Alternative for Germany has become the country’s largest opposition party. It has called for the forceful deportations of foreigners.

Protests, fighting in Myanmar—Next to Myanmar.

AUDIO: [Myanmar protest]

Students in Rakhine state rallied over the weekend to protest an ongoing internet blackout. The government has cut online access in areas where the Arakan Army continues to battle Myanmar’s military.

The Arakan Army is one of the largest insurgent groups fighting for autonomy in Myanmar, also known as Burma. The United Nations has warned that civilians, especially children, are bearing the brunt of the conflict.

Violence in Haiti—And finally, we end today in Haiti.

AUDIO: [Haiti violence]

Piles of burning tires blocked the streets of Port-au-Prince on Monday. The capital is on lockdown after police attacked army headquarters over the weekend. They are demanding better working conditions. The attack sparked a gun battle that left two servicemen dead and a dozen wounded.

The country’s Justice Department said the violence resembled a “coup attempt” against embattled President Jovenel Moise.

Haiti has been paralyzed by political crisis for more than a year. Criminal gangs have taken advantage of the unrest, and regularly set up roadblocks on the highway. Kidnappings for ransom have also become much more common since the beginning of the year.

The government canceled Tuesday’s annual Carnival celebration to avoid more violence.

That’s this week’s World Tour. For WORLD Radio, I’m Onize Ohikere reporting from Abuja, Nigeria.

(Uwe Zucchi/dpa via AP) Police and rescue workers stand next to the scene of the accident with a car that is said to have crashed into a carnival parade in Volkmarsen, central Germany, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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