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South Africans face agonising wait for news of missing loved ones

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Residents of the KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa are facing an agonising wait for news of their missing loved ones as the death toll in the devastating floods and mudslide last week rises to 460.

Reports from government officials on Monday confirmed that at least 460 people have died in the floods amd mudslides, while dozens are still missing as rescue workers continue to search in the southeastern coastal region.

The Premier of the Durban province which covers the KwaZulu-Natal area, Sihle Zikalala, in a statement, said the dead included two emergency workers, while more than 63 people remain unaccounted for.

“The loss of lives, destruction of homes, the damage to the physical infrastructure … make this natural disaster one of the worst ever in recorded history of our province,” said Zikalala.

“In some of the worst-affected areas residents faced an agonising wait for the news of missing loved ones,” he added.

Sbongile Mjoka, a resident of Sunshine village in the eThekwini municipality whose eight-year-old nephew has been missing for days, told reporters that his family is still hopeful of seeing his nephew alive.

“We haven’t lost hope. Although we are constantly worried as the days continue,” Mjoka said.

Another resident, Lethiwe Sibiya, who also spoke to journalists said “everything is a harsh reminder of what we lost, and not being able to find our loved ones is devastating because we can’t grieve or heal. At this stage we are left feeling empty.”

In what has been described as one of the most devastating natural disasters in the country, the floods and accompanying mudslides were the strongest to have struck South Africa in more 60 years triggered by torrential rains that lashed the KwaZulu-Natal province.

Metro

Cattle hustlers kill 11, including eight police officers in North Kenya

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At least 11 people, including eight police officers and a local chief, have been killed by suspected cattle rustlers in northern Kenya, police said.

The victims, according to the police report, were killed in the drought-stricken Turkana county rustlers whom they had been chasing after they had rustled several herds of cattle on Sunday.

In the statement, the county police said that a “criminal and cowardly ambush by cattle rustlers had taken place in Turkana county and while being pursued by officers and the locals, eight police officers, two civilians and one a local chief were killed.”

“The police officers who were killed had been pursuing members of the Pokot ethnic group who had attacked a village and fled with cattle,” the statement said.

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Egypt sends food aid, medical supplies to ‘Somali brethren’

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The Egyptian government on Sunday, dispatched two military jets loaded with food aid and medical supplies to war-ravaged Somalia as “part of its continued support and solidarity with the brethren in country during crises and hard times,” a statement from the country’s Presidency said on Monday.

“Two military jets loaded with large quantities of aid headed to Somalia as per the directives of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

“The aid is an affirmation of the depth of historical ties and relations between Egypt and Somalia as well as Egypt’s leading role towards Africa during times of crisis,” the statement said.

The aid package, according to the Egyptian government, also included two military medical crews who will “participate at treating and transporting injured military forces in Somalia in the recent terroristic attacks there.”

“In addition, Egypt military medical sector set the required preparations for receiving the injured Somalian soldiers.

This is not the first time Egypt is playing the big brother in other countries especially those with Arabian ties as it has sent several medical aid shipments to Arab and African countries including Tunisia, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and others, which they believe has the famed ‘brethren’ with them.

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