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Over 1,900 children die of malnutrition in Tigray region in war-torn Ethiopia

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At least 1,900 children under the age of five have died from malnutrition in the Tigray region of war-ravaged Ethiopia in the past year.

According to a study carried out by local health officials and released on Wednesday, the deaths were recorded at health centres across the war-torn region between June 2021 and April 2022.

A doctor involved in the study said the true “number of child deaths from malnutrition is likely to be higher because most families are unable to bring their children to health centres because of transportation challenges.”

He added that most hunger deaths go unrecorded.

“Because we cannot access most areas, we do not know what is happening on the community level.

“These are simply the deaths we have managed to record in health facilities,” said the doctor who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals.

“The children of families living in urban areas are especially at risk of malnutrition, as their parents do not have farmland to grow food,” he added.

The ongoing conflict in Western Tigray, which is under the control of forces from the neighbouring Amhara region, has been blamed for the deaths and hunger in the region.

UN figures also noted that more than 90 percent of Tigray’s 5.5 million people require humanitarian assistance, including 115,000 children who are severely malnourished.

Since June last year, Tigray has been cut off from the rest of Ethiopia when fighters from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, TPLF, recaptured most of the region as federal forces withdrew.

On March 24, the Ethiopian federal government unilaterally declared a surprise “humanitarian truce,” an announcement it said would allow food aid to flow into Tigray, but nearly one month later, only four convoys of around 80 food lorries have entered the region.

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South African police arrests woman over racist rant calling for blacks to be killed instead of pitbulls

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The police in South Africa have arrested a self-proclaimed pitbull advocate, Belinda Magor, after she made racist remarks calling for black people to be killed and banned instead of pitbulls.

Mayor’s comments came following a recent spree of attacks on people by pitbulls in different parts of the country.

On Sunday, November 20, a 3-year-old boy was attacked and killed by two pitbulls in the Sekoti-mpate province which led to a protest by residents of the area.

In another incident on Wednesday November 23, a 15-month-old baby was also mauled by a pitbull at Gonubie Farm in East London, led to more anger as residents went into town and rounded up pit bulls and set them on fire.

In the leaked Whatsapp voicenote, Magor sent to group of pitbull owners and advocates, she was heard saying:

“What I say is ban the blackman. They rape, they steal, they kill, worse than any pitbull could, and they get away with it.

“Ban those that are making the laws, ban Ekurhuleni, ban the blackman. Get all the black women and cut out their uteruses and their ovaries that they cannot procreate because they will all turn out the same because they are all the same.

“I’m very passionate about this. Ban them, kill them, shoot them. Get rid of them because they are the problem. Not pitbulls, not animals.

“Animals are beautiful, and they deserve, er, warm bed, er food, love and attention and everything else. God created those animals. Who created the black man, do you think God? I don’t think so.”

Confirming the arrest of Magor, South African Police Servies (SAPS) spokesperson, Colonel Brenda Muridili, said “a case of crimen injuria was opened on November 25, 2022, at Boksburg North and transferred to Putfontein Police Station for investigation.

“The suspect, aged 60 years old, was arrested and released the same day on a warning to appear in court on March 27, 2023,”

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Botswana woman executed in Bangladesh for drug trafficking

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An African woman from Botswana, Lesedi Molapisi, was on Friday, executed in Bangladesh after she was found guilty and sentenced to death for trafficking over 3kg of heroin into the country.

According to New Age Bangladesh, Molapisi, 30, was reportedly arrested at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in January this year after the airport’s customs officials and intelligence officials intercepted while crossing the green channel after they had received information that she has smuggled drugs into the country.

The Bangladeshi news website reported that customs officials confirmed that they seized over 3kg of the heroin-like granular substance worth Tk 20 crore in eight polybags upon scanning Molapisi’s bag.

The Bangladeshi cabinet had approved a draft law prescribing the death penalty for drug offences in 2018. The law also supported the Narcotics Control Act 2018, which mandates either the death penalty or life imprisonment for anyone convicted of committing a range of drug offences.

Under the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898, “when any person is sentenced to death, the sentence shall direct that he be hanged by the neck till he is dead.”

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