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More than 25,000 children missing in Africa – Red Cross

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The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has raised the alarm over the disappearance of over 25,000 African children.

The ICRC, in a published report on Tuesday to commemorate the International Day of the Disappearance, said it was worrisome the number of minors missing across the continent.

The figure, it said, represented 40% of the 64,000 cases of missing persons in Africa.

The Committee said among the issue leading to such disappearance include insecurity, whereby the report showed that there are more than 35 armed conflicts across the continent.

“This has led thousands of people, including children to cross borders, the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean Sea in search of a safe place and a better life, far from these conflicts.

“Such movements carry great risks and disappearance is at the top of the list.

“Unfortunately, the 25,000 cases recorded do not reflect the full extent of this tragic and often overlooked humanitarian problem.

“There is no doubt that there are many more children who have no news of them,” the report issued by the ICRC’s Regional Director for Africa, Patrick Youssef, said.

“During their travels, children face a number of risks such as exploitation, violence, psychological distress and disappearance,” he said, adding that the number of documented cases of missing persons on the continent continues to rise.

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Somali military tribunal jails wife of Islamic State leader eight years

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A Somali military tribunal has sentenced the wife of a leader of the Islamic State terrorist group to eight years in prison for “passing on information and organizing financial transactions for the group.”

According to a top Somali military official, the convict, Fartun Abdirashid, the wife of the head of the Daesh (IS) group in the country, Abdiqadir Mumin, was sentenced on Monday after she was found guilty by a military court in Mogadishu.

“Fartun Abdirashid has been under the custody since her arrest in March last year in Mogadishu. Her husband is Abdiqadir Mumin, who is the head of the Daesh group, a terrorist organization linked to the Islamic State,” the military official said.

The Somali public prosecutor’s office, said the suspect was accused of frequently transferring $100 to $200 to the group’s members, and also had a working relationship with Bilal Al-Sudaani, a senior Islamic State group official who was killed last Wednesday in a U.S. raid in the northern Bari region.

Mumin, who was a former al-Shabab cleric, had pledged his allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2015, and has led his group to hold a smaller but significant footprint in Somalia compared to the al-Shabab terrorist group that has carried out numerous attacks in the country.

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30 killed, 20 missing as tropical storm, Cheneso, sweep across Madagascar

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At least 30 people have been confirmed killed while 20 are missing following flooding and landslides caused by a tropical storm, Cheneso, which swept across Madagascar over the weekend.

The Madagascar National Office for Risk and Disaster Management, in a provisional assessment on Monday, said, the storm which made its first landfall in the northeast of the Indian Ocean island nation last Thursday, has so far impacted close to 89,000 people.

The Madagascan Meteorological Agency in a statement, said the storm, which has now passed across the country into the Mozambique Channel, saw winds gusting up to 170 kilometres per hour (105.63 miles per hour) and unleashed torrential rains.

The director of the Risk and Disaster office, Colonel Faly Aritiana, also said there had been house collapses and landslides in which people were trapped.

“People have been reacting generally in the right way, but some people have not been taking enough note of our warnings not to cross rivers in flood because the flow is much stronger than usual,” Aritiana said.

“The storm has damaged infrastructure, with many roads cut by rising waters, landslides and collapsed bridges,” he added.

Local media say nearly 33,000 people have had to leave their homes in the Boeny region, in the northwest of the island, while the prices of basic foodstuffs have skyrocketed.

“Prices of vegetables and rice increased a lot after the storm with the cost of tomatoes quadrupling. The merchants say it’s because the national road is cut,” it added.

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