Friday 23 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
Twenty-six Congolese refugees at a fast-growing camp in western Uganda died from acute diarrhoea in just three days, the UN said Thursday. Tens of thousands of people have fled an upsurge of fighting in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo this year, many of them arriving weak and unwell at Ugandan camps that are struggling to accommodate them. "The number of deaths caused by acute diarrhoea is 26 over the period from 15 to 18 February," said Duniya Aslam Khan, spokeswoman in Uganda for the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). "All reported cases and all victims are newly arrived Congolese refugees," she added. The deaths were recorded at the Kyangwali camp close to Lake...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Twenty-six refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo have died in a camp in Uganda from acute diarrhea, and hundreds more cases have been registered, an official from the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said on Thursday. The East African country’s refugee population has risen sharply recently as people flood in from eastern Congo, where resurgent ethnic and inter-communal violence has uprooted hundreds of thousands. Duniya Aslam Khan, spokeswoman for the UNHCR in Uganda, said health workers from the World Health Organisation, U.N. children’s fund UNICEF and Medecins Sans Frontieres had identified “acute watery diarrhea” in camps in western Uganda. She said the condition had already killed 26 refugees from Feb. 15 to 19, while 424 cases...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/22/18)
GULU, Uganda (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Francis Okello wanted to kill himself after he was blinded at the age of 12 by an unexploded bomb while digging in his family garden in northern Uganda - until he made friends with a dog. “I would have nightmares,” said Okello, who lives in an area that has been scarred by two decades of conflict between Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels and Ugandan forces. “Life became worthless because I was stigmatized.” Hope flickered...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
About 224 million people are suffering from malnutrition across Africa as climate change and conflicts heighten food insecurity across the continent, a top UN food agency official said Monday. The official, speaking at a conference on Africa organised by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the situation was a "cause of concern" as the continent's population was expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. "Under-nourishment appears to have increased from about 21 percent to nearly 23 percent between...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda said on Thursday it was widening a probe of government officials who allegedly stole aid intended for refugees to include U.N. staff, amid concern the scandal may hold up donor cash needed for the country’s surging refugee population. Allegations that officials may have inflated refugee numbers to skim aid and engaged in other types of fraud have angered donors and embarrassed a country whose open embrace of a huge influx of refugees from South Sudan’s war has won global praise. The minister for relief, disaster preparedness and refugees, Hilary Onek, told a news conference...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/14/18)
GENEVA (Reuters) - Over 22,000 people fled Congo to Uganda last week following a surge of ethnic violence in the northeast, raising the total number of arrivals to about 34,000 since the start of the year, the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday. At least 30 people have been killed in fighting between Hema herders and Lendu farmers in the province of Ituri this month, echoing clashes that killed thousands of Hema and Lendu during a civil war that...
(AFP (eng) 02/13/18)
Over 22,000 refugees have fled fighting in Democratic Republic of Congo to neighbouring Uganda, violence that has left several dead and villages torched, the UN said Tuesday. At least four refugees drowned while crossing the waters of Lake Albert between the two nations, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said. "Last week, over 22,000 Congolese crossed Lake Albert to Uganda in three days, bringing the total number of people from the DRC arriving in the country to about 34,000 since the...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the...
(AFP (eng) 02/07/18)
Thirty cows sealed 12-year-old Joyce's fate. In exchange she became the third wife to a man as elderly as her father who traded her, never mind she had barely reached puberty. Joyce was sent from her home in western Kenya, across the nearby border to Uganda. Appalled, she soon ran from her husband and her new life, but she did not return home. Instead she sought refuge at Kalas Girls Primary School in northeast Uganda, alongside over 100 other young...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Uganda is investigating allegations of widespread fraud in its refugee aid programme, a government official said Monday, as the UN also raised concerns over human trafficking in Ugandan camps. "The office of the prime minister has received reports alleging that there could have been acts of mismanagement of funds and other resources meant to cater for refugees and host communities in the country," said Musa Ecweru, Uganda's minister of state for relief, disaster preparedness and refugees. "Government has already commenced measures to investigate these reports with a view to taking action against any culprits," he said. Aid workers have long suspected Uganda of inflating refugee figures in order to attract more...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron,...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/31/18)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Traffic will soar above the muddy swamp between Uganda’s capital and its international airport when a new Chinese-built highway opens in a few months time, but the road itself is mired in controversy. The government has partly funded the 51-km (30-mile) $580 million expressway with a loan, part of $11 billion in borrowings in the decade since the World Bank canceled debts about a third that size as part of debt relief for poor states. Uganda says...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
A notorious Ugandan tabloid made its much anticipated return to news stands Monday after a two-month shutdown prompted by a story that Kampala was allegedly plotting to topple President Paul Kagame of neighbouring Rwanda. Some vendors in the centre of the capital Kampala said the Red Pepper sold out in minutes. The newspaper, which specialises in sensational gossip and political scoops, was closed in November. Eight of its editors and directors were charged with treason and defaming President Yoweri Museveni,...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/18)
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday hailed Donald Trump for speaking "frankly" to Africans, after the US president unleashed a storm by reportedly describing African nations as "shithole countries." "I love Trump because he speaks to Africans frankly. I don't know if he was misquoted or whatever. He talks about Africans' weaknesses frankly," Museveni said in the capital Kampala to members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA). Trump reportedly used the language at a private White House meeting on...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/18)
Uganda's most popular tabloid paper will soon be back on newsstands after senior management promised to be more "professional" and were given a presidential pardon late Tuesday. Eight editors and directors of the Red Pepper were originally charged with treason and later with damaging the reputation of President Yoweri Museveni and others following the publication of a story alleging a Ugandan plot to overthrow the Rwandan government. "After a meeting with President Museveni at State House, Entebbe Tuesday night, he...

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