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4 protesters electrocuted as anti-MONUSCO demonstration continues in Congo DR

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Latest report says four protesters were electrocuted on Wednesday as demonstrations targeted at the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) base in the East Africa country continues.

The mission and local official who confirmed the accident revealed, the protesters were electrocuted in the Congolese city of Uvira when troops fired shots which hit an electric cable that fell on them.

“Four people were unfortunately electrocuted to death by a cable [near a MONUSCO base],” the mission tweeted on Wednesday.

South Kivu governor, Theo Ngwabidje Kasi, confirmed the incident earlier in the day, stating that “there was an isolated demonstration in Uvira.”

“I have asked for investigations to know if the bullet was fired by MONUSCO or by our [security] forces,” he said, adding that preliminary information suggested it had come from within the MONUSCO base.

Uvira added that the U.N. would work with Congolese authorities to investigate civilian deaths. “We do not have any evidence that MONUSCO troops were firing at civilians, he told journalists in New York via video.

The ongoing protest in Goma, turned bloody with at least 5 people killed and 50 injured in the Eastern part of the country on Wednesday.

Reports emerged on Tuesday that protesters reportedly demanding that the United Nations peacekeeping mission leave the country for failing to protect the population attacked a force’s warehouse and looted its offices in Goma.

Congo has been a troubled territory with more than 120 rebel groups continuing to operate across large swathes of east Congo almost two decades after the official end of the central African country’s civil wars.

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US air strikes targets al-Shabaab Islamists in Somalia

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Several US air strikes have taken out several al-Shabaab commanders and their strongholds in Somalia, according to state media reports on Wednesday.

A statement by Somalia state own media said US military carried out air strikes against the al-Shabaab fighters in the central Hiran region on Tuesday, killing several fighters and their commanders.

The report said the air strikes followed a request from the Somali government following renewed attacks by the rebel group in different parts of the country.

A statement by the US-Africa Command based in the Horn of Africa country said airstrikes in June and July killed seven jihadist fighters flatter an increased in attacks on government targets in recent months by the insurgents.

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Sierra Leone: Parliament passes law to protect locals from land grabs

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The parliament in Sierra Leone has passed two laws that is widely believed will boost the rights of rural landowners and women.

The Customary Land Rights Act and the Land Commission Act, both enacted on Monday, will protect against land grabs by big mining and agribusiness firms.

The new laws empower local landowners to negotiate the value of their land with investors and prevent it being leased out without their express consent.

An official of international legal advocacy group, Namati, Eleanor Thompson, said “to our knowledge there is not a legal regime anywhere, in either hemisphere that grants such robust rights to communities facing harm.”

The move is also praised by Gerben Haringsma who is the director of SOCFIN, the biggest agribusiness company in Sierra Leone, called it a “dream of NGOs”.

“Certainly, it will block any investment… It makes things very expensive and we are all prone to enormous blackmail by various communities.” Haringsma remarked.

Sierra Leone has a history of sometimes deadly conflict between local communities and foreign companies that have cleared huge tracts of land for palm oil and sugarcane plantations in recent years.

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