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5 African Prison Breaks in the Decade That Have Shocked the World. [#1 has over 3,000 escapees]

South Africa authority has initiated a manhunt operation for 16 inmates of a prison in Johannesburg who staged what has been described as one of the daring prison breaks during the early hours of Monday.

Authorities say the prisoners who were awaiting trial escaped through a pipe shaft and broke through a wall before scaling the fence.

It is believed that the escape could have been an inside job. This is not the first jailbreak incident in South Africa and as many wonder how the recent one was successfully pulled off, here are other prison break incidents within the past 10 years in Africa that got everyone dazed.

Over 3,000 prisoners escape jail in DR Congo

This occurred in May last year after armed men attacked the Malaka prison but authorities said only 50 prisoners successfully got away. Scores of people were also killed in the process. Ne Muanda Nsemi, a self-styled prophet who was seeking to restore a monarchy in parts of DR Congo was said to be part of those who escaped. Prison authorities subsequently accused supporters of Mr Nsemi’s of being behind the attack. Two months later, over 900 inmates also escaped from Kangwayi prison in Beni after an attack from assailants believed to be from the shadowy rebel group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). Eleven people were killed and dozens injured in the attack. Before this, in 2104, armed men raided a jail in the town of Butembo in the eastern part of the country, releasing all 370 prisoners. This was amidst violence that had already killed hundreds in the town.

Some armed militants were said to have looted from offices on international aid organisations before the jailbreak

Over 500 prisoners escape jail in the Central African Republic

The jailbreak at Ngaragba took place in September 2015 amid unrest in the country. Before the escape, some armed militants were said to have looted from offices on international aid organisations. The development shocked many and heightened tension in the country.

96 escape from prison in Ivory Coast

In September 2017, about 100 inmates escaped from a prison in the central town of Katiola. They were said to be followers of the late leader of a prison mutiny in 2016, Coulibaly Yacouba. Yacouba who was locked up since 2012 for assassination and murder was killed in February 2016 during an attempted jailbreak at Ivory Coast’s main detention centre in Abidjan. This left ten people dead, with 21 others escaping.

“The inmates went through the roof of their cells to get to other cells and took advantage of workers leaving to break the main gate and flee,” a judicial source told news site News24.

A month before this, five prisoners escaped from a jail in the south-central city of Gagnoa. Four prison guards and one civilian were arrested for allegedly aiding the inmates.

22 escape in Niger prison

Twenty-two inmates in 2013 escaped from the main prison in Niger’s capital during an attack by suspected Islamist militants. Three guards were killed in the process. Sources said that weapons had been smuggled into the jail. The prison break came days after Islamists claimed responsibility for twin suicide attacks on a military base and uranium mine that killed 25 people. Officials told the BBC that the prison break started when a prisoner grabbed a gun from a guard and shot dead three guards and a civilian. The Islamist militants who were stationed outside the prison then opened fire with some entering the building to aid the release of their colleagues.

Madagascar prisons

Over 120 escape jail in Madagascar

The prisoners broke out of jail in northeast Madagascar in December 2017 after a lynch mob stormed the prison in search of a murder suspect to kill him. The mob, numbering 800 conquered the guards and allowed 120 prisoners to break free after they realized that the one they were looking for had already been moved to another facility. Five prison officers who were taken hostage by the mob were later released.

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