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30 Burundian soldiers killed in Al-Shabab militants attack in Somalia

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The Burundian military has confirmed that at least 30 of its soldiers were killed and 20 others injured in an attack by al-Shabab militants on an African Union base in southern Somalia on Tuesday.

According to the report, 10 of the soldiers who were part of the AU Peacekeeping force stationed in the war-ravaged Somalia, died on the spot while the rest of the soldiers succumbed to their wounds while receiving treatment at different hospitals.

The report added that other soldiers are still missing following the attack which the al-Qaeda has since accepted responsibility for.

In a statement on the militants’ Telegram channel, al-Shabab said it killed 173 soldiers in the attack on the AU base in the village of El-Baraf, about 150 kilometers north of Mogadishu.

Though the casualty figure has not been independently verified by officials, military sources say at least 161 soldiers were at the camp at the time of attack.

A Somalian official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said soldiers had intelligence that al-Shabab was gathering in a nearby village about 48 hours prior to the attack. He said the soldiers prepared to defend themselves and dug trenches but were caught by surprise by the enormity of al-Shabab explosives detonated at the camp.

He added that the militants used three truck bombs, one of which fell into a ditch, estimating the militants detonated about 20 kilograms of explosives, and that 450 militants overran the camp.

The official also said 20 al-Shabab militants were killed in the attack.

Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiyec who posted on Twitter on Wednesday, said there are no words strong enough to condemn the terrorist attack against the Burundian contingent.

“I join with all of Africa which has just lost sons and daughters … to console the hard-hit families,” Ndayishimiyec wrote.

Late last month, the al-Shabaab group has launched a mortar attack on the Somalian parliament during a joint session where six people were injured while last week, the group also Al-Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for a blast at a seaside restaurant in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, where six people were also killed and several others wounded.

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Metro

Sign language interpreter, Kunda, seeks inclusivity in media rights agenda (video)

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An inclusive society is crucial for a nation’s human and economic development in the modern era.

In this edition of Project Aliyense, we feature Paul Kunda, widely recognized as the face of sign language interpretation on national television, serving the deaf community.

Kunda, a dedicated sign language interpreter and educator with over four years of experience, sheds light on the significance of media freedom.

“As a sign language interpreter at Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and a teacher by profession, I advocate for media freedom,” he said.

Kunda emphasised the importance of the Access to Information (ATI) Act, recently assented to by President Hakainde Hichilema, which empowered citizens to demand information freely.

He stressed the need for unhindered access to information to foster a civil and prosperous society.

Regarding digital rights, Kunda highlighted their critical role for the deaf community, given the transformative impact of digital platforms, especially when mainstream media access is limited.

“As a representative of the deaf community, I believe digital rights should be inclusive. Everyone, including persons with disabilities, should enjoy these rights through various devices to express themselves and participate in national discourse,” he asserted.

He also called for the recognition of sign language as the eighth national language, aligning with United Nations conventions that mandate sign language interpreters at all events to promote inclusivity.

This story is sponsored content from Zambia Monitor’s Project Aliyense.

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Educationist challenges media freedom norms, cautions against misuse of freedom of expression

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Geshom Banda, Deputy Head Teacher at Hillside Primary School, presents a contrasting perspective amidst discussions on media freedom and digital rights.

Banda contested the prevalent notion suggesting limitations on expressing opinions regarding government affairs through media channels.

In an interview with Zambia Monitor in Chipata, Eastern Province, Banda emphasized Zambia’s democratic foundation, affirming that citizens possessed the liberty to voice their views on governmental matters via the media.

“Television broadcasts frequently feature discussions on political issues and government affairs, reflecting the freedom of expression prevailing in our nation,” he observed.

Furthermore, Banda highlighted the accessibility of media platforms for marginalized groups, including the disadvantaged and persons with disabilities, enabling them to articulate their voices effectively.

“Thanks to the readily available facilities, marginalized communities now have avenues to express themselves through various media channels,” he said.

Nevertheless, Banda cautioned against the misuse of freedom of expression and digital rights, particularly concerning the dissemination of inaccurate information, which could adversely affect consumers’ perceptions of cyberspace.

“The challenge lies in misinformation. Inaccurate information circulated through the media can distort the public’s understanding,” he cautioned.

Acknowledging the necessity of regulatory measures, Banda referenced the Cybersecurity Act, aimed at curbing the malicious distortion of media content, despite persistent efforts by some individuals to spread misinformation.

“Granting unrestricted freedom in media poses risks of information distortion. Hence, regulatory measures like the Cybersecurity Act are crucial in safeguarding digital rights and preventing abuse,” he emphasized.

This story is sponsored content from Zambia Monitor’s Project Aliyense.

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