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Congo begins Ebola vaccination amidst recent outbreak in northwest city of Mbandaka

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Following the recent outbreak of the Ebola Virus in the northwest city of Mbandaka, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization on Wednesday says the country has kicked off Ebola vaccinations to stem an outbreak.

Two people have been reported dead from the recent outbreak. The first death was of a 31-year-old male, detected in the city of Mbandaka, capital of Congo’s Equateur province on April 21.

The second was on Tuesday, marking the central African country’s 14th Ebola outbreak was said to be a female relative of the first case.

The World Health Organization said in a statement that around 200 doses of the rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine have been shipped to Mbandaka from the eastern city of Goma, with more to be delivered in the coming days.

The stamen further revealed that 233 contacts have been identified and are being monitored and three vaccination teams are on the ground and will focus on reaching all people at high risk.

WHO Africa Director Matshidiso Moeti, said “With effective vaccines at hand and the experience of the Democratic Republic of the Congo health workers in Ebola response, we can quickly change the course of this outbreak for the better.”

Ebola is an infectious and frequently fatal disease marked by fever and severe internal bleeding, spread through contact with infected body fluids by a filovirus (Ebola virus ), whose normal host species is unknown.

Congo has seen 13 previous outbreaks of Ebola, including one in 2018-2020 in the east that killed nearly 2,300 people, the second-highest toll recorded in the history of the virus.

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Zambian government moves to retrieve body of student killed while fighting in Russia-Ukraine war

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Zambian authorities have resolved to send a delegation to Russia next week to retrieve the body of a 23-year-old Zambian student, Lemekhani Nathan Nyirenda, who died while fighting for the Russian military in Ukraine.

Nyirenda’s family and the government are, however, still waiting for answers from Moscow on how he was recruited into the army while serving a nine-year prison sentence in Russia.

Spokesman for the Zambian Ministry of Information and Media, Thabo Kawana, who confirmed this in a statement on Saturday, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is spearheading efforts to bring the body of Nyirenda back to the country for burial.

“The government is also offering support during this trying moment and doing everything they can to arrange for the funeral and repatriation of the body back to Zambia,” Kawana said.

“Using our diplomatic channels and our all-weather cooperation between Russia and ourselves, we will be able to get to the bottom of this matter,” he added.

Zambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Stanley Kakubo, at a press conference earlier in the week, said that Nyirenda who had been studying at the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, was serving a nine-year prison sentence for a drug offense.

He said Nyirenda was killed on the front lines in September, but Russian authorities only just informed Zambia of the death while Zambia is demanding answers over the student’s death and why he had been sent to Ukraine.

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Algerian court sentences 49 people to death for lynching citizen over forest fires

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An Algerian court has sentenced 49 people to death for lynching and burning a citizen, Jamal Ben Ismail, and mutilating his body in the Kabylia region after he was wrongly accused him of causing a vast forest fire in which over 90 people were killed, the Algerian Press Service reports.

However, according to the Algerian moratorium on executions enacted in 1993, the sentences would be concerted to life imprisonment terms.

The report by the APS on Friday said the Casablanca Court of First Instance in Algiers, also handed down judgements “ranging from ten to two years enforceable imprisonment against 28 defendants, in addition to fines ranging from 100 to 200,000 Algerian dinars, while it acquitted 17 other defendants.”

“All the accused were prosecuted on multiple charges, particularly the offence of committing “terrorist acts and subversion against the state security and national unity, involvement in deliberate and premeditated murder.

“Other charges were assault with violence against members of the public force, dissemination of hate speech and incitement to destroy the property of others and armed gathering,” according to the APS.

Local media reports that the then 38-years-old Ismail, had voluntarily gone to a town in Tizi Ouzou in the northwest of the country to help extinguish forest fires.

“When he learned that some of the town’s residents suspected him of being involved in setting fires because he was a stranger to the region, he rushed to hand himself to the police, however, a large crowd of angry citizens snatched him from the hands of the police, tortured him, burned him alive and mutilated his body,” a media report said.

Some videos circulated on social media showed crowds surrounding the police car where Ben Ismail was held, they then dragged him out and started beating him.

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