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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.

Metro

Killing of Pakistani journalist in Kenya targeted assassination, investigators say

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A team of Pakistani investigators who investigated the killing of veteran journalist and news anchor, Arshad Sharif, in Kenya, have released a report saying his murder was a planned and targeted assassination’.

Sharif, who was very critical of Pakistan’s government andpowerful army, was killed on October 23 when police shot at his car on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

The Kenyan Police was to later release a statement saying it regretted the incident, claiming it was a case of “mistaken identity” during a search for a similar car involved in a child abduction case.

“This was a planned, targeted assassination … rather than a case of mistaken identity as the Kenyan police claimed,” the report said.

The report further suggested the bullet that fatally wounded Sharif was fired from either inside the car or from close range.

Sharif’s killing had led to condemnations and calls for an independent probe with Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, announcing an investigation and promising that his government’s findings would be made public.

The investigators’ 592-page report released on Wednesday, seen by said the Kenyan Police issued contradictory statements following the killing of the 49-year-old journalist who was living in exile after he fled Pakistan in August to avoid arrest in the wake of multiple cases, including sedition charges, slapped on him for making comments on his show which the military and government deemed inciting and offensive.

As part of the investigation, two Pakistani officials had travelled to Kenya where they met with police and Sharif’s brothers Khurram and Waqar Ahmed, are residents in the eastern African country.

According to the report, Khurram told the investigators he had been in the car with Sharif at the time of the shooting, travelling home after dinner.

“They saw the roadblock, which Khurram believed to have been set up by robbers. As they sped through, he heard the fatal gunshots,” part of the report said.

“Khurram said he then called his brother who advised that he keep driving until they reached the family’s farmhouse, several kilometres away. Once at the house, the brothers found Sharif was already dead,” it added.

Meanwhile, Islamabad police have charged two Pakistani businessmen living in Kenya, who had hosted Sharif in the African country, with involvement in his killing.

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Nigerian Army denies Reuters reports of forced “abortion programme” for Boko Haram victims

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The Nigerian Army has debunked a report by international media outfit, Reuters, which indicted the military authorities of forcefully terminating at least 10,000 pregnancies for female victims of Boko Haram jihadists who were abducted and impregnated by the terrorists in northeast Nigeria.

The news agency had, in a report on Wednesday, accused the Nigerian military of “conducting years-long illicit programme to carry out abortions among women and girls who have been victims of armed groups.”

“Since at least 2013, the Nigerian military has conducted a secret, systematic and illegal abortion programme in the country’s northeast, ending at least 10,000 pregnancies among women and girls,” the agency said.

It also said many of the women and girls had been kidnapped and raped by the armed fighters, and those who resisted an abortion ran the risk of being “beaten, held at gunpoint or drugged into compliance.”

Reuters said its report was based on witness statements from 33 women and girls, five health workers, and nine security personnel involved in the alleged programme, and on military documents and hospital records describing or tallying thousands of abortion procedures.

“Most of the abortions were carried out without the women’s consent and some were conducted without their prior knowledge, through abortion-inducing pills or injections passed off as medications to boost health or combat disease,” the agency said.

But in a response on Thursday, the Nigerian Army denied the report, describing it as “a body of insults on the Nigerian peoples and culture.”

In a statement signed by Army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Bernard Nwachukwu, said “Nigerian military personnel have been raised, bred and further trained to protect lives.”

“The Nigerian military will not, therefore, contemplate such evil of running a systematic and illegal abortion programme anywhere and anytime, and surely not on our own soil,” the statement said.

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