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Dakar, Senegal, hosts 9th World Water Forum, the first in sub-saharan Africa

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The 9th edition of the World Water Forum is currently holding in Dakar, Senegal, the first time the world’s biggest water-related event will be hosted in sub-saharan African.

The event which kicked off on March 22 to March 27, holds every three years to bring together key political actors, business leaders, NGOs, donors, and international organizations to promote dialogue and facilitate access to water and sanitation.

The theme for this year’s Forum, “Water Security for Peace and Development”, is jointly organized by the World Water Council (WWC), the World Bank and the Government of Senegal, according to website of the World Water Council (WWC).

“The Forum provides a unique platform for the water community and key decision makers to collaborate and make long-term progress on global water challenges.

“From 22-27 March 2022, participants from every horizon, including political and economic decision-makers, multilateral institutions, academia, civil society and the private sector will gather in Dakar, Senegal for the 9th World Water Forum,” the WWC said.

The epoch making event which is coming to Africa for the very first time, is quite significant as the organisers hope it will help build upon previous World Water Forums “through an innovative framework, seek to identify, promote and implement concrete responses and actions for water and sanitation in an integrated way.

“The 9th World Water Forum will focus on four priorities: 1) water security and sanitation; 2) cooperation; 3) water for rural development; 4) means and tools for implementation of reforms in water and sanitation.

“Additionally, the Forum will convene a Summit of Heads of States and major international institutions, to advance the political agenda on water and sanitation at the midpoint of the 2030 agenda on implementing the water and sanitation targets and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” it added.

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M23 rebels take control of Kitshanga in eastern DR Congo

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The M23 rebels have announced that its fighters have seized control of the strategic town of Kitshanga, in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after days of intense fighting.

The DRC military authorities also confirmed in a statement late on Friday that its forces have withdrawn from the town in a tactical move to protect civilians in the face of a renewed offensive by the rebel militia.

“We have tactically withdrawn from the city in order to attract these genocidal forces deep into the city and avoid the worst for our people in Kitshanga,” spokesman for the military governor of North Kivu, Lieutenant-Colonel Guillaume Ndjike, said in the statement.

“We are making every effort to dislodge this enemy,” he added.

Videos then emerged on social media showing the M23 fighters celebrating and claiming they had captured the town.

The M23 rebels said it took control of Kitshanga town on Thursday night after capturing several villages on the road linking the town of about 60,000 people to the provincial capital, Goma.

In an earlier statement, M23′s spokesman, Lawrence Kanyuka, has accused government troops of attacking civilians in Kitchanga and elsewhere, and said the rebel group was “obliged to intervene and stop another genocide”.

While condemning the recent development, the UN peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO), said more than 500 people, including women and children, are seeking refuge at its base in the town of Kitshanga.

MONUSCO spokesperson, Ndeye Khady Lo, said civilians fleeing from Kitchanga have been given tents, food, water and first aid.

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237 African migrants rescued off Libyan coast

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Not less than 237 African migrants were on Friday, rescued after their makeshift boat capsized off the Libyan coast while navigating the dangerous Mediterranean Sea, on their way to Europe.

French medical charity, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which carried out the rescue mission, said the migrants were rescued by its chartered rescue vessel, Geo Barents, which was sailing in the Mediterranean Sea, north of the country’s capital Tripoli, when it received a distress call.

“The Geo Barents ship encountered other overcrowded rubber dinghies with migrants attempting to reach Europe and took them on board,” the NGO said.

“Following instructions by the maritime rescue coordination centre, the ship then sailed towards the northern Italian port of La Spezia.l,” it added.

The MSF and other NGOs operating rescue vessels off Africa’s northern coast have accused the Italian government of deliberately assigning far away ports to discourage their operations, an accusation the Italian Interior Ministry had denied.

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