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Spanish charity, Open Arms, rescues 372 African migrants after makeshift boats sank on Mediterranean Sea

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A Spanish charity organisation, Open Arms, on Sunday rescued 372 African migrants seeking to cross the dangerous Mediterranean Sea to Europe after their makeshift boats sank.

The organisation officials, in a statement on Monday, said the migrants were travelling in “unseaworthy smugglers’ boats,” adding that it also recovered the corpse of a man who had been shot by the smugglers.

The rescue ship, Open Arms Uno, remains at sea and is seeking a safe port for the rescued people, with many of them including young children and women, needing medical attention and many who are suffering from dehydration, the charity’s spokeswoman, Laura Lanuza, said.

She said the ship had made at least two requests for a safe port in Malta with no favourable response thus far.

“In all, the ship performed three rescues in 24 hours. In the largest rescue, the Open Arms picked up 294 people, mostly Egyptians, from an overcrowded barge in waters south of Malta in an nighttime operation that spanned nearly five hours before dawn Sunday. Those rescued said they had been at sea for four days.

“The packed boat had been spotted by volunteer pilots combing the Mediterranean for people in distress, and a photo showed its decks packed with people waving for help.

“Before that, the Open Arms rescued 59 migrants from Syria, Egypt, Sudan and Eritrea, among them 10 minors, from an oil platform they had reached in international waters near Tunisia.

“Still in the flimsy smugglers’ boat was the wrapped body of a migrant who had been shot on shore by smugglers

“The smugglers forced the people to take the corpse with them. They spent a day or so at sea, and kept the corpse until they were saved,” Lanuza said in the statement.

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Another Ugandan health worker dies from Ebola Virus

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Another health worker in Uganda has died due to complications from the Ebola Virus Disease, making it the fourth recorded death of an official since the outbreak of the Sudan-strain of the virus in last August, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng, who announced the death of the health worker, said the victim identified as Ms Margaret Nabisubi, an anaesthetic officer, died at about 4.33am after battling the infection for 17 days.

“The 58-year-old succumbed to Ebola at 4.33am this morning at Fort Portal Hospital (JMedic) after battling the disease for 17 days,” Dr Aceng said in a tweet.

“The late Margaret is the 4th health worker we have lost in the current Ebola outbreak after the probable case of a midwife, Dr Mohammed Ali and the health assistant in Kagadi District. May their souls rest in eternal peace,” Aceng added.

She added that President Yoweri Museveni was very concerned about the situation and has mandated the Ministry to do everything possible to contain the spread.

The country’s disease control agency, in a statement said so far, the confirmed cases of the virus infection have increased to 43 and the deaths have also increased to 13 as of Tuesday.

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ECOWAS mediator, Mohamadou Issoufou, meets Burkina Faso new ruler, Captain Ibrahim Traore

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The delegates of regional bloc, Economic Community of West African States have concluded mediation for Burkina Faso after recent unrest surrounding a military coup that ousted Lieutenant colonel Damiba last Friday.

The Friday coup was led by one of his trusted allies, Captain Ibrahim Traore, eight months after Damiba had overthrown the democratically elected President Roch Kabore in January and there has fear of a counter coup as shootings eusued at the capital on Saturday.

The mediator team led by Mahamadou Issoufou on Wednesday met with the country’s new ruler Captain Traoré who promised to keep the commitments made in July by the previous leadership regarding the organisation of elections and a return of civilians to power by July 2024 at the latest.

While briefing newsmen after the meeting, the mediator reaffirmed his commitment to the Burkinabe people.

“We will report on our mission to the current president of ECOWAS and to the heads of state. But I can already assure you that ECOWAS will remain at the side of the Burkinabe people.

“We will continue to accompany the Burkinabe people in this very difficult ordeal they are going through”, said Mahamadou Issoufou, ECOWAS mediator for Burkina Faso.

The West Africa sub-region has witnessed a series of military coups in recent years. In MaliGuinea, and Burkina Faso since August 2020.

 

 

 

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