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Flood: Torrential rain kills 21 in Eastern Uganda

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At least 24 people have been reportedly killed by floods in parts of eastern Uganda resulting from torrential rains.

The Ugandan government and Uganda Red Cross confirmed the death on Monday.

According to a statement late on Sunday by the state ministry in charge of relief, disaster preparedness and refugees in the Office of the Prime Minister, the flooding in parts of Bugisu, Mbale and Kapchorwa initially killed 10 people on Sunday.

Government however confirmed the death toll rose further on Monday.

The spokesperson of the Uganda Red Cross, Irene Nakasita told reporters that so far rescuers had retrieved 21 bodies from Mbale and another three from Kapchorwa.

Nakasita revealed that a truck carrying relief supplies was on its way to attend to those displaced in the affected areas.

The torrential rains come right after a prolonged drought in vast swaths of the country that has left many areas parched and crops in fields scorched.

Fatal cases of flood casualties have been on the rise recently across Africa. In Lagos Nigeria in July continuous rain led to a boat accident which according to the state’s Inland Waterways Agency killed scores.

Similarly in July, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), flash floods occasioned by torrential rains in Sudan’s Western Darfur region killed not less than 12 people, including children and a pregnant woman.

Also in July, at least 15 persons were confirmed dead and an unspecified number reported missing after torrential rains that lasted over three days caused massive floods in different parts of the Central African Republic.

Evidently, the month of July is a raining period in most African country but it appears due measures are hardly in place in preparation of the season as casualties are recorded year after year as a result of rains which in most case could have been better managed.

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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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Nigerian army arrests suspects of Catholic church killings in Owo

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Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor has revealed that the country has arrested suspects in an Islamist militant attack in a Catholic church that killed 40 people two months ago.

General Irabor made the revelation on Tuesday. He said that the attackers were arrested during joint operations involving the armed forces, the Department of Security Services and police.

According to a statement by the Defence Chief, the suspects could not be paraded in he intended for the sake of the ongoing investigation.

“It was my intention to present them to the public, but because of the investigation still going on, I had to change my mind,” Irabo said.

“I will like to say that in due course, the world will see them and others who are behind other daring attacks in the country.”

Scores were killed after suspected terrorists attacked St Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Owo Ondo State as service got underway at the main community parish.

Despite being one of the major campaign promises of president Muhammadu Buhari, Terrorist activities have taken an upward trend in Nigeria since the deadly Boko Haram sect based in North-Eastern Nigeria, which is also active in Chad, Niger and northern Cameroon was founded in 2002.

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