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Billionaire Egyptian business tycoon bags three years jail sentence for sexual assault, human trafficking

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A prominent billionaire Egyptian businessman, Mohammed el-Amin, was on Tuesday, sentenced to three years in prison by a Cairo Criminal Court for allegedly engaging in “human trafficking” and “sexual assault” on seven minors at an orphanage he opened in the south of Cairo.

el-Amin, a media and real estate mogul who was first remanded in custody on January 8 on charges of “sexual assault on children with the use of force,” will also have to pay a fine of 200,000 Egyptian pounds (about US$11,000), as restitution.

Before the Tuesday sentencing, el-Amin was facing up to life in prison on charges of sexual assault with aggravating circumstances as the victims were both minors and under the responsibility of the orphanage he had founded in Beni Soueif, about 100 km south of Cairo.

A judicial prosecutor said images had been found on el-Amin’s mobile phone and that officials from the ministry in charge of monitoring orphanages had produced recordings of conversations with the young orphans recounting their attack.

“He abused his power in front of orphan girls whom he sexually assaulted and threatened to expel from the orphanage if they reported him,” the prosecutor’s office charged.

On December 10, 2021, the Government Council for Motherhood and Childhood had referred the case to the prosecutor’s office, saying that a Facebook page had accused wl-Amin who is the CEO of the Al-Moustaqbal Media Group, the owner of various CBC television channels of “sexual assault” on young girls in Beni Soueif.

The prosecution had also accused el-Amin of “regular indecent assaults on the victims without their consent including at his villa on the northern coast” of Egypt where he assaulted them by asking them to engage in immoral acts.”

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Sudan recalls Ambassador from Addis Ababa after accusing Ethiopia of executing soldiers

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Sudan has recalled its ambassador to Ethiopia after accusing the Ethiopian army of executing seven Sudanese soldiers and a civilian who had been held in captivity.

The Sudanese military had said on Sunday that the Ethiopian soldiers had executed the captives and displayed their bodies in public while negotiations were ongoing for their release, promising that there would be “an appropriate response” to the execution.

“It is an act that contravenes all laws and customs of war and international humanitarian law, the Ethiopian army executed seven Sudanese soldiers and a citizen who were their captives.

“This treacherous act will not pass without a response,” the Sudanese military said.

The Ethiopian government however, denied complicity by its military in the killing of the Sudanese soldiers, blaming the Sudanese forces for crossing into its territory and provoking a clash.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Addis Ababa, issued a statement expressing regret over the incident but said Ethiopia has been misrepresented.

“The Government of Ethiopia categorically rejects the misrepresentation of these facts by the Sudanese defense forces that unjustly put the blame on Ethiopia, while it was the Sudanese army unit that crossed (over) the Ethiopian border, provoking the incident.”

But in an announcement late Monday, Sudan said it would recall its envoy from Addis Ababa as well as summon the Ethiopian ambassador from Khartoum.

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Uganda’s Government changes position, invites striking art teachers for negotiations

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The Ugandan government has made a turn on its decision to sack all arts teachers involved in the industrial action.

The change in position comes barely days after the government threatened to dismiss the teachers. Minister Raphael Magyezi had revealed that the government had reached a final position to have Arts striking teachers sacked if they do not get back to class.

The government backed down and invited the leaders of the tutors’ union for negotiations to end the ongoing strike that has paralysed learning in public schools for two weeks now.

Art teachers across Uganda downed tools last week, threatening to throw the country’s education sector into yet another crisis, a few months after schools came out of two years of a shutdown that kept thousands of learners at home.

The general secretary of the Uganda Professional Science Teachers Union, Mr Aron Mugaiga, had advised the leadership of the Uganda National Teachers Union (Unatu) to encourage their art counterparts to return to class.

“I urge members to go back and teach because if they continue with the industrial action, the lost time will never be recovered when the government affects their pay enhancement. I believe the doors for negotiations are still open,” Mr Mugaiga said.

The ongoing strike is just five months after Uganda reopened schools following a two-year closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has already caused outrage as more than eight million children in public schools miss out on learning.

Over 300 percent pay increment was allocated for science teachers in Uganda’s budget for the 2022/23 financial year, which starts in July but the allocation does not include arts and humanities teachers.

It is not uncommon to see prolonged industrial actions in Africa. Elsewhere in the continent, Nigeria, University teachers have been on strike since February over salary related agreement the academic union had with the government in 2009.

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