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The Africa Report: 15 January

EWN’s Africa Correspondent Jean-Jacques Cornish reports on the day’s top African news

Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan. Picture: GCIS.

NIGERIA'S ANTI-GAY CRACKDOWN

Putting them at odds with international thinking, Nigeria has further criminalised homosexuality.

President Goodluck Jonathan signed a revised version of the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act into law in early January.

Under the Act, homosexuals in Nigeria face up to 10 years imprisonment.

Nigeria has become the 38th African state to outlaw homosexuality, despite international condemnation.

On Tuesday, the United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay voiced her condemnation saying that she had never seen a piece of legislation so at odds with universal human rights.

However, it is argued that outlawing homosexuality will result in negative repercussions.

PROTESTORS AND POLICE CLASH IN WESTERN SAHARA

Pro-independence protestors have clashed with police in the main city of Western Sahara, Laayoune.

Protestors torched a vehicle and hurled petrol bombs at the police who are notorious for the ill-treatment of the Sahrawi civilians.

There have been no reports about anyone having been injured in Tuesday's clash.

Morocco's unrecognised occupation of the Western Sahara is nearing 40 years despite increasing international focus on the human rights violations.

Many of the peacekeepers who have been in the Western Sahara for more than thirty years are increasingly under pressure to protect basic human rights.

Despite the many accounts of human rights violations and the unresolved question of sovereignty, Morocco maintains the support of the United States and France.

WEST AFRICAN LIONS IN DANGER OF EXTINCTION

West African lions once prowled the region in their thousands but, according to a recent study, now face extinction.

The study, published in scientific journal PLOS ONE, states that roughly 400 lions remain in the West African region across 17 countries.

The study describes how farmland replacing their natural habitat and human hunters are threatening their existence.

One of the authors of the study said the lions were "looking at a chasm of extinction".

West African lions, with smaller builds and thinner manes, are genetically different from those in the rest of Africa.

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