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Sank ship in southeast Tunisia not carrying 750 tonnes of diesel earlier claimed – Authorities

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Following reports last week that a vessel carrying 750 tonnes of diesel from Egypt to Malta, sank in the Gulf of Gabes off the southeast coast of Tunisia, authorities in the North African country have announced that the oil tanker that sank last weekend in its territorial waters was empty.

The Equatorial Guinea-flagged tanker was initially thought to be carrying around 750 tonnes of fuel when it sank between Egypt and Malta last Saturday.

Captain of the Tunisian Navy, Mazeri Letayef made the clarification on Friday

“We were surprised to see that the four tanks were filled with seawater. There is not a drop of diesel”. (…) “The ship, Xelo, which sank in the Gulf of Gabes does not represent an environmental threat at this time on the Gulf of Gabes.” Letayef remarked.

Tunisian authorities had earlier evacuated the seven-member crew from the ship, which risks leaking, while the defence, interior, transport and customs ministries were working to avoid a marine environmental disaster in the region and limit its impact.

An investigation is currently on to determine what caused the incident but the ministry did not explain why its new claim is not in line with the initial report by it that the wrecked ship was carrying tonnes of diesel.

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Somali forces, local vigilantes, recapture strategic town from Al-Shabaab terrorists

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The Somali National Army (SNA), alongside local vigilantes popularly called Mo’awisley, on Monday, recaptured the strategic city of Adan Yabaal from the al-Shabaab terrorist group, the military said in a bulletin on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the town located near the border between Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions that comprise Hirshabelle State, which is about 220 kilometres north of the capital Mogadishu, is one of the five federal member states of the Federal Government of Somalia, and had been a strategic location held by the al-Qaeda-sponsored extremist group.

The SNA said in the bulletin that it met no resistance from the al-Shabaab fighters who left the town without posing resistance on getting information about the approach of the federal troops.

Al-Shabaab have lost most of the towns and settlements in Hirshabelle State, both Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions, after the SNA and Mo’awisley vigilantes waged offensive wars.

“Mo’awisley vigilantes, who are mainly composed of nomadic herders, took up arms and rebelled against the jihadists’ confiscation of their livestock and illegal tax collection known as zakawaat.

“Over the last couple of weeks, the government forces and the vigilantes have been gradually inching towards the town which they seized on Monday. The town had been under the full control of al-Shabaab for over a decade,” the bulletin said.

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Tanzania President, Samia Hassan, cancels country’s Independence Day celebrations: Here’s why

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Tanzania’s President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has cancelled the country’s Independence Day celebrations which was scheduled for Friday, December 9, and has rather directed that the funds that would have been sunk into the celebration should be used to build dormitories for children with special needs.

The organisers of Tanzania’s 61st Independence Day celebrations had presented a budget of $445,000 to the government but the President vehemently opposed the budget and ordered that the money should be used to build dormitories in primary schools around the country.

However, Tanzania’s Minister of State, George Simbachawene, said the money had been disbursed, alluding that the East African country will celebrate Independence Day by having public dialogues on development marked with pomp and state banquets.

This is not the first time Tanzania has cancelled the celebrations.

In 2015, late President John Magufuli cancelled the celebrations and diverted funds towards the building of a road in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

In 2020, he also cancelled the celebrations and directed that the budget earmarked for it should be used to buy medical facilities.

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